Archer thinks his return to Rays will be good

by Gary Shelton on February 10, 2021

in general

Archer ad his share of frustrations with the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

When the best thing a player has done for a franchise is to get traded away, what is left for an encore?

Chris Archer is back. Archer, who showed he had great stuff sometimes and left fans wanting more at others, will try to soften the blow of losing Charlie Morton and Blake Snell from the starting rotation.

Archer was 54-68 in seven seasons with the Rays before they traded him away after the 2018 season. The team received pitcher Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Austin Meadows in return in perhaps the most one-sided trade in franchise history.

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With the Pirates, Archer was just 6-12 in two seasons.

“I learned a lot the last two or three years, dealing with injury and learning what not to use with my repertoire,” Archer said. “I definitely had some failed experiments.

“There are some things to sharpen, but I just want to get back to being myself. I got away from that with the injuries and not really using my stuff properly. I want to get back to being me and what made me great all those years that I was in Tampa.”

Archer battled biceps tendinitis, neck issues and had surgery in June for thoracic outlet syndrome, wiping out his 2020 season;

“I’m stronger than I’ve ever been,” Archer said. “My arm is more conditioned than it’s ever been. I started throwing sooner in the offseason. … From a strength perspective, I feel really, really good.

“I think there’s a lot ahead. Being in the right environment will help express that. It’s going to be cultivated properly. The familiarity was a huge piece of this process.”

Archer is hoping he fits in better with the Rays.

“One thing Tampa and I have really honed in on is, ‘OK, what do you do extremely well? Let’s heighten that.’ We’ll sharpen some other things that need some sharpening, but I’m not going to try and do anything new. I’m gonna go out there and just be me.”

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