Ciuffo Injured, Faria’s Slow Tempo, Rays Fall To Orioles

Rays Fall 5-2 To Baltimore

In his first start of the Grapefruit League season, Jake Faria was unable to get out of the first inning.Although, not all of the struggles were his own doing. In that start against the Boston Red Sox, Faria allowed three earned runs retiring just two batters.  Even in Spring Training starts, pitchers want to see improvement.

On Thursday afternoon in a Rays 5-2 loss Baltimore Orioles he allowed a hit, a walk, and a run in two innings of work. “Just thinking too much out there.” Faria said. “When I was falling behind I was just letting the game slow down, thinking about it too much. Trying to over analyze everything.”

His battery mate Jesus Sucre noticed it as well. “Hey man, let’s pick up the tempo,because his tempo is not right,” Sucre said. “I believe last year his tempo was a little better. He was pitching a little quicker. Right now, I think he’s taking too much [time] in between pitches. He needs to pick it up a little bit.”

Kevin Cash was happy with how Faria battled through it. “Just one of those days. The pace was a little slower than what we’d like.” Cash said. “Look like Jake [Faria] couldn’t find any rhythm, any tempo.”

Ciuffo’s Scary Injury:

Catcher Nick Ciuffo was struck in the the head by D.J. Stewart‘s swing.  Ciuffo left the game with a laceration to his head.  He’ll be checked further by medical personnel to determine if he suffered a concussion.

Venters With Another Scoreless Appearance:

Cash was impressed with Jonny Venters who mixed in a nice changeup. It was Venter’s second scoreless inning this spring.

Sucre Getting Timing Back:

Rays catcher Jesus Sucre was 1-for-2 with a homer. He caught in consecutive games for the first time this spring. The time behind the plate this early in spring is in hopes of getting his legs under him and rhythm back defensively. Tomorrow, he’ll get time as the designated hitter as he looks to regain the timing with the bat.

The Kids Have Positive Days:

Jake Bauers went 2-for-4, Daniel Robertson went 2-for-3, and Willy Adames was 2-for-3. Chih-Wei Hu came in after Faria and hurled two scoreless innings. Kyle Bird added a scoreless inning of his own.

It was a positive day for the Rays prospects on and off the field. named the Rays as the fourth best farm system in baseball.

Schultz Struggles:

Jaime Schultz had a day he’d like to forget as he lost control of the strike zone. He retired just two of the six batters he faced. He walked three, threw two wild pitches, and allowed three earned runs.

“He’s still kind of testing limits right now after an injury plagued season last year.” Cash said. “He’s behind, there’s no doubt. You could tell today, he’s trying to ramp it up a little quicker. He’s done such a good job of managing himself, but today he wanted to see a little bit more coming out of the tank and that probably caused him to elevate the ball more than he wanted.”