When the Milwaukee Brewers flipped first baseman Jesus Aguilar to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jake Faria, it looked like they turned an unproductive bat into a solid arm. That hasn’t been the case so far. Why hasn’t Faria become a key contributor?
Jake Faria should have better results than he’s produced so far. He looks the part of a Major League starter as he stands 6’4″ and weighs in at 225 lbs. He averaged over 93 MPH on his fastball last year, and he pairs it with an above average change up and usable breaking stuff. Why hasn’t he been able to find success?
When was Faria’s last good year?
Faria had a mini-breakout as a rookie in 2017. He posted a 3.43 ERA in 14 starts and two relief appearances for the Rays. He worked 86 2/3 innings and managed to strike out 84 while walking 31 and allowing 11 homers. It looked like the kind of season he could build on in 2018.
What happened to Faria after his rookie year?
Faria suffered an oblique injury that sidelined him for a good chunk of the 2018 season. He also suffered a neck injury that limited him after he returned from the oblique strain.
Faria had a solid spring in 2019, but he spent most of 2019 shuttling between Tampa Bay and Durham whenever the Rays needed a fresh arm in their bullpen. Then he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jesus Aguilar, and never quite found his stride.
Faria worked nine games for the Brewers, and posted an 11.42 ERA in 8 2/3 innings of work. He was tagged for 12 runs, 11 earned, on 18 hits and five walks. Three of the hits allowed didn’t stay in the park. He also managed to strikeout eight.
He’s also lost his spot on the Brewers’ 40-man roster. Faria got DFA’ed when Jedd Gyorko was brought in. He could either get claimed by another team, elect to become a free agent, or accept the assignment to Triple-A. He didn’t get claimed by any other teams, so he chose to accept the assignment and stay with the Brewers organization.
Will Faria have a role for the Brewers in 2020?
The Milwaukee Brewers have four or five spots in their bullpen that are essentially up for grabs. Faria is one of the names in play for a bullpen role, but he’ll have to get added back onto the 40-man roster in order to make the team. The Brewers would have to designate someone else for assignment. There are a few names that could end up DFA’ed with a few rough outings in spring, so it won’t be a huge challenge to get added back on.
Faria has succeeded in the Majors, but he’s struggled due to health and an unpredictable role. A full season in the same role with the same team could be enough to help Faria return to form. His name will likely come up in the upcoming bullpen role battle in Spring Training, and there’s a non-zero chance that he makes the team. If he puts together a string of scoreless outings, Faria could end up back on the 40-man roster sooner rather than later.