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Faria's struggles magnified by new rotation plan

Rays' projected No. 3 starter in four-man staff gives up five runs (four earned) over 1 2/3 IP vs. Twins
Special to MLB.com

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash and pitching coach Kyle Snyder wanted to watch right-hander Jake Faria quicken his pitching tempo during Sunday afternoon's 6-5 loss to the Twins. Unfortunately for the three, the only quick thing was the hook.

Faria, who was penciled in to pitch four innings, couldn't make it out of the second frame. 

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash and pitching coach Kyle Snyder wanted to watch right-hander Jake Faria quicken his pitching tempo during Sunday afternoon's 6-5 loss to the Twins. Unfortunately for the three, the only quick thing was the hook.

Faria, who was penciled in to pitch four innings, couldn't make it out of the second frame. 

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"What I'm most angry about is that I couldn't even pitch two innings when I was supposed to pitch four," Faria said.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Cash said there was nothing physically wrong with Faria, who is currently expected to be one of four starters in a hybrid rotation, where the fifth start would function as a bullpen day. 

"Jake's not allowing himself to get into a good rhythm," Cash said. "He's not there yet. Jake's been struggling with his tempo. He'll be all right."

Cash said the reason he pulled Faria in the second was because the righty was laboring.

"He was at 30 pitches in that inning. We'd never let any pitcher get past that in Spring Training."

Not working at a brisk pace has haunted Faria from time to time, especially in the Minor Leagues. A couple of years ago, catcher J.P. Arencibia went to the mound and suggested that the pace Faria was on would result in a long, long game.

Faria remembers the conversation. "J.P. came out and told me, 'The game's only in the third inning, it's going to be a five-hour game. Let's go.'"

Faria showed this past season, when he was called up from Triple-A Durham, why he's being considered for the rotation. The 24-year-old was 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his first seven starts of 2018, before going on the disabled list in mid-August with an abdominal strain.

"We're going to try to stay at four," Cash said of his rotation. "We're going to have some bullpen days in there. We're going to try and do that for a long period of time. We're going to learn a lot in the first six weeks.

"We're going to schedule in a bullpen day as our fifth starter. That's kind of our hope -- going past six weeks."

Video: Chastain on Rays' decision to use a four-man rotation

The Twins didn't exactly hit Faria that hard on Sunday, as three hits bounded off an infielder's glove and a couple more dropped in front of an outfielder. But Faria was wild, walking Joe Mauer on four straight pitches with the bases loaded.

Faria said he feels good, and when he has pitched on the backfields and in side sessions, everything has been working.

"It's not transferring out there," Faria said, referring to the stadium mound. "It's driving me crazy. It's so frustrating. I know it's there."

Bob Rathgeber is a contributor to MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Jake Faria