Yesterday, Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Jacob Faria made his major league debut. He certainly did not disappoint with his performance against the Chicago White Sox.
Although he may not have been considered one of the top pitching prospects in the game prior to the start of the season, Jacob Faria had done nothing but impress for Durham. In his second stint in AAA, Faria had posted a 6-1 record with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.125 WHiP. Over his 58.2 innings, Faria had an International League leading 84 strikeouts against 22 walks.
Given his dominance at AAA, it was not much of a surprise when the Tampa Bay Rays decided to call him up to make the start yesterday. At this point, Faria had little left to prove at Durham, with the only question being whether or not he could continue that type of performance in the majors. Yesterday, for at least one start, that answer was an emphatic yes.
The game did not have a promising start for Faria. Luery Garcia reached on an infield single, and stole second. With one out, Jose Abreu had an RBI single to right to give the White Sox a quick 1-0 lead. However, that base hit seemed to remove any nerves that Faria had been feeling, as he quickly settled in.
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After that run scoring single, Faria dominated. He did not allow another hit until Kevan Smith doubled to deep left in the fifth. Prior to that, the only other baserunner that Faria had allowed came on a third inning walk to Garcia. He lasted into the seventh, where his one out, four pitch walk to Todd Frazier spelled the end of the night.
Overall, in Faria’s impressive debut, he allowed just the one run on three hits and two walks, striking out five. He mixed his pitches well all night, keeping the White Sox off balance. Faria’s command, which has also been a concern at times during his minor league career, was mostly spot on last night as well.
Even though Faria appears to be ticketed for the minors with Matt Andriese set to come off the disabled list, this outing certainly gives a great deal of hope for the future of the rotation. He came in and dominated a lineup that, despite their struggles this season, still has a few dangerous hitters. To hold the White Sox to a mere three hits and two walks in his debut was likely more than the Rays could have hoped for.
The Tampa Bay Rays got a much needed boost last night from Jacob Faria. That impressive debut may just be the first step to his becoming a key part of the rotation in the near future.