The curiosity surrounding Chris Archer rises with each start because of his unseen assets. No question, he has physical tools. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, the 24-year-old Tampa Bay Rays right-hander has the strength and talent to become a long-term presence within a starting rotation.
But no discussion about Archer is complete without mention of the invisible traits, the markers that hint at a prolonged major league career. The confidence. The bravado. The bite found with trust in his head as well as his arm.
"This kid is a different cat," manager Joe Maddon said.
"He's kind of a unique case," right-hander Alex Cobb said.
"So much of it has to do with how he is personally in his own mind," left-hander Matt Moore said.
Archer has made two starts this season, after he was promoted June 1 from Triple-A Durham for his latest major league cameo in two years. His most recent outings serve as the yin and yang of his reality as someone growing within the game, someone who has shown flashes but...