3:10pm: Rays manager Kevin Cash revealed that Faria will be out for a fairly substantial amount of time, with an absence of six to eight weeks likely being on the short end of his realistic timeline to return (Twitter link via Topkin). He could be sidelined into August, Topkin adds.
2:24pm: Nathan Eovaldi is going on the 60-day DL to create 40-man space, Topkin tweets. Since he has been out all year, Eovaldi will still be eligible to come back on May 28th.
11:37am: The Rays will make a pitching change today, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Righty Jake Faria will hit the 10-day DL after suffering an oblique injury, while the club will select the contract of lefty Vidal Nuno to replace him.
It’s still not known what the Rays will do to create a 40-man roster opening, but one will be needed to accommodate Nuno. The southpaw signed a minor-league deal with Tampa Bay over the winter.
Faria, 24, has struggled a 5.48 ERA over his 47 2/3 innings through ten starts on the year. He’s averaging 7.0 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9, both of which represent steps back from his more promising debut effort in 2017. Faria has also overseen a steep decline in his swinging-strike rate, from 12.0% to 8.6%.
Hopefully, then, his time on the DL will also afford an opportunity to pursue some solutions to his troubles on the mound. It is not yet known how severe the oblique injury is; depending upon the extent of the damage, Faria may require anything from a relatively brief to a rather lengthy stint on the shelf.
As for the 30-year-old Nuno, he has plenty of experience over the past five MLB campaigns, over which he has thrown 344 innings of 4.29 ERA ball. He struggled quite a bit last year with the Orioles, but has been more effective thus far in 2018 at Triple-A. In his 40 1/3 innings at Durham, Nuno owns a 3.57 ERA with 37 strikeouts against just three walks.
It’s not yet clear just how the Rays will deploy their new hurler, but the loss of Faria only deepens the intrigue surrounding the club’s unorthodox pitching strategies. Chris Archer and Blake Snell will presumably continue to be utilized mostly as traditional starters, but beyond that it may largely be a patchwork effort.