Kyle Farnsworth isn't the same pitcher he was five years ago, though he may not be quite as effective as his numbers suggest. The 12-year MLB veteran has evolved into a more hittable pitcher – but not in a bad way. He has career-low walk and strikeout rates this year (2.4 BB/9 and 7.2 K/9) and when batters do put the ball in play, they're hitting more ground balls than fly balls (Farnsworth was a fly ball-strikeout pitcher earlier in his career).
The high ground ball rate is helping Farnsworth keep the ball in the park (two homers allowed) but he is probably going to give up more long balls in the second half since he has an unsustainably-low 5% home run per fly ball rate. The right-hander is stranding more runners than usual and allowing fewer hits on balls in play than he normally does, so his 2.41 ERA has probably been helped by some good fortune.
But lucky or not, there aren't a ton of available relievers who induce ground balls, strike out three times as many batters as they walk and have 95 mph fastballs. Farnsworth has about $2MM plus bonuses remaining on his 2010 contract. If he's traded, the 34-year-old can choose to void his team's $5.25MM option for 2011 and collect a $500K buyout.
Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel and Matt Capps are among the late-inning right-handers who could be traded this year. Some of those players (like Capps) would require better prospects than Farnsworth and others (like Wood) would require a bigger financial commitment, so the Royals should draw interest in Farnsworth this month.
Whoever signs him will win an on-field fight. I remember when he destroyed Affeldt when he was with the Royals.
Good article. Guys like Farnsworth fly under the radar because folks have such a negative attitude towards him. Still think he is a big risk to take on but it’s hard to argue with his results so far this year. That $5m option is a little scary though.
People have a negative attitude towards him because he has been a poster child for inconsistency throughout his career. He is not someone that I would want in the game in a high leverage situation.
” Guys like Farnsworth fly under the radar because folks have such a negative attitude towards him.”
I agree with Yanks420. Folks have a negative attitude towards him because he is too up/down and scary to rely on. Not to mention other stuff.
The only good thing I have ever seen Farnsworthless do is body slam a Kansas City Royal player when there was a bench clearing brawl between Detroit and KC a few years back.
Farnsworth will always be the poster-boy of Cubbie turbo douchedom; unfortunately for the Royals, this attribute has zero trade value.
He’s one of those guys from now on will be probably fighting for a job in spring training I think and from his time in NY when he was lit up in the lime light mostly. Classic live arm and no control guy that has good stuff and little control. Intriguing, like David Aardsma that can harness it for a year, then lose it the next and will never really have a lock.
I look for Aardsma also to lose his job with Seattle by the end of the year as well, caught a few of his games this year and seemed as though that 95-97mph FB that he had in Boston 2 years ago and in Seattle last year was no longer there and had been replaced with a 92-34mph one and was very wild. His splitter looked awful also.
Fahrnsworth and Aardsma have a lot in common.
He has/had serious gas on his fastball, but his control just plain sucks ass.