Faria’s primary pitch had some positives and some negatives. On the plus side, the pitch had 30-plus IFFB% for the second consecutive year. He managed to lower the line drives allowed (34.2% in 2017, 23.5% in 2018) and increase the ground balls allowed (25.6% in 2017, 34.8% in 2018). Finally, he managed to increase his Zone% slightly to 55.9. However, despite the increased Zone%, Faria struggled with allowing walks, sporting a 18.2 BB% to just a 10.9 K%.
Faria’s slider suffered from a reduced amount of vertical movement, from 2.6 zMOV in 2017 to just 0.5 zMOV in 2018. The lack of drop caused a dramatic change in the batted-ball profile that he got on the slider. He traded ground balls (52.4% in 2017, 42.1% in 2018) for line drives (17.5% in 2017, 28.9% in 2018). A return of that vertical movement could lead to Faria’s return to success in 2019.
Another secondary pitch that suffered from a reduction in vertical movement. Faria’s splitter went from 4.2 zMOV in 2017 to just 1.5 zMOV in 2018. With that reduction in movement came a dramatic reduction in IFFB% from 55.6 in 2017 to 15.4 in 2018 as well as a reduction in GB% from 45.9 in 2017 to 36.4 in 2018.
Faria’s struggled to throw his curveball for strikes, featuring a 23.5 Zone%, and when he did throw the pitch in the zone, he didn’t fool any batters (100 Z-Contact%). Ultimately, the pitch ended up allowing a .459 wOBA and a -1.3 pVal in a relatively small sample.