Pete Fairbanks continues to look to heat up following on and off start to 2024

The Tampa Bay closer is looking for a spark to kickstart his 2024 season into full gear as he has had some on and off performances to begin the season.
San Francisco Giants v Tampa Bay Rays
San Francisco Giants v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

Pete Fairbanks is in his sixth Major League season, all with the Rays since following his trade to the team from the Texas Rangers in 2019.

His high velocity, 100+ mph fastball has made him a towering test for the Tampa Bay opponents who have looked to make comebacks during his entire career. He has a career ERA of 3.46 and 239 career strikeouts in 166.2 innings of total work.

Fairbanks is also in the all-time top ten save total for Rays' pitchters as he has 43 to date.

However, thus far, 2024 has not been the start to the season the big time arm has been looking for. In eight appearances, he has an ERA sitting at 9.00 and has walked 8 batters in 6.0 innings of work. That includes the two walks that led to key runs in his recent appearance during the Rays' 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Fairbanks was very vocal about his outing after the game and is clearly not satisfied with his own pitching performances as of late.

""I thought it [outing versus Angels] generally sucked. I didn't think it was a specific suck, I thought it was like an all-encompassing type of suck." "

Pete Fairbanks, Rays reliever

He made similar comments after a Tampa Bay loss back against the Colorado Rockies earlier this month. It is safe to say that the Rays' closer has gotten his cage rattled a little to start the season.

However, not all of his starts have been bad,

Fairbanks has had some great performances that he could look to build on. Starting on April 9th, he had a streak of three saves starting with a one-inning appearance in a 6-4 win over the Angels. He gave up one run off of two hits, but he had two strikeouts, and kept Los Angeles behind long enough to get Tampa Bay the win.

The next save came in the following game against the Angels. In a 4-2 win, he was in tune with three strikeouts and allowed just one hit to earn save number two on the season. Fairbanks yielded no runs during the outing.

Thereafter, in the series opener against the San Francisco Giants on April 12th at Tropicana Field, he faced four batters and walked one. However, he was able to get the other three batters out that he he faced, despite not registering any strikeouts.

Streaks like that serve as a good reminder as to what Fairbanks can provide. Although he has been credited with two blown saves this season, Tampa Bay cannot be quick to give up on the flame thrower that has been steady in St. Petersburg for his entire career.

It is also worthy to note that Tampa Bay has Jason Adam in their bullpen who previously served as the Rays closer. So, the Rays do have something to fall back on, but they should not be to quick to move on from Fairbanks as he is capable of providing good innings for the team and add to his save total.