The Rays received some good news as right-handed pitcher Luis Patiño was activated off the 10-day IL after Sunday’s game against the Phillies.
He previously went on the IL after a finger laceration on his throwing hand, but manager Kevin Cash said that he’s looked good in his bullpens since the injury.
Patiño was optioned to Triple-A Durham, where he’ll be utilized as a traditional starter, a good boost for the righty. He’s appeared in five games, including three starts, for the Rays this season, giving up six earned runs in 15.2 innings pitched.
A big concern about Patiño so far this season has been his drop in velocity from 2020, but with a change in mechanics over the offseason, most notably the retooling of his slider, he’s lost roughly two miles per hour on his four-seam fastball.
However, while he’s now sitting around 95 on the fastball, his slider has picked up two miles per hour as Patiño has been averaging 87 MPH on it this season.
The slider usage has risen dramatically this season while the fastball usage has dropped nearly 20 percent, which you can see in the chart above.
Patiño’s changeup usage has gone down significantly from 2020 as that was his second-most used pitch, but now, he’s gone fastball slider.
If he can bring back the changeup more, which is what he might experiment more with in Durham, being a three-pitch pitcher will make him that much better in 2021.