Royals Pitching Coach Believes Farnsworth Can Adjust Easier than Joba

I’m sure we all remember the big fireballer whom the Yankees used to call their “setup man.” For those who don’t his name is Kyle Farnsworth. Yes, the Kyle Farnsworth. He was brought to New York to replace Tom “Flash” Gordon in 2006 on a 3-year, $17 MM contract.

Well first, let’s look at his stats as a Yankee by season, then for his career:

  • NYY (2006): 72 G  3-6   6/10 Save opps  66 IP  62 H  75 K  32 ER  8 HR  28 BB  4.36 ERA
  • NYY (2007): 64 G  2-1  0/3 Save opps  60 IP  60 H  48 K  32 ER  9 HR  27 BB  4.80 ERA
  • NYY (2008)*: 45 G  1-2  1/1 Save opps  44.1 IP  43 H  43 K  18 ER   11 HR  17 BB  3.65 ERA  ***Note, lost setup job to Joba Chamberlain
  • CAREER (1999-present): 772.1 IP  747 H  780 K  342 BB (2-1 ratio)  115 HR   4.47 ERA  27 SAVES 33 BLOWN SAVES

Farnsworth was traded at the Trade Deadline in 2008 to Detroit for Iván Rodriguez. He is now with Kansas City.

Now, the Royals pitching coach, Bob McClure, has apparently been working all offseason with Farnsworth. Primarily, he would always throw his two fastballs, 4-seam and 2-seam at between 97-101 mph, rarely using his curveball or slider. Well, McClure and manager Trey Hillman think it’s time for Farnsworth to move out of the bullpen to the rotation. He has also apparently lowered his fastball velocity to about 91-93 mph in the process.  ***Note: Farnsworth came up to the Cubs in 1999 as a starter (21 GS  5-9  5.05 ERA)

Your mind is already blown isn’t it? Well that’s not even the crazy part of the story.

Bob McClure, Royals pitching coach since 2006, seems to think that the Kyle Farnsworth will be able to make the transition to starter easier than Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain. “Chamberlain is still in that mode where he’s learning, so he’s pitching like his hair’s on fire, and it seems to me he’s a little more suited for the ‘pen at this point.” (***Note: Farnsworth: Age 33, Chamberlain: Age 24) “Farnsworth, to me, just went the opposite. He was able to start throwing 92, 93 [mph] and use some two-seamers to where we think it may be something to look at,” said McClure. He will compete with former Met great Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, and Luke Hochevar for the final two spots in the rotation.

So you may be thinking, “What?” First off, does McClure not realize that Chamberlain has started 43 games over the past 2 seasons? Not only has Joba proven to be able to pitch in New York (without seemingly allowing a home run every game), but he has a career ERA lower than 3.75 (and 4.45) as well. I guess only time will tell as to who really will adjust (even though Joba has already done so) better.

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11 Responses to Royals Pitching Coach Believes Farnsworth Can Adjust Easier than Joba

  1. That's awesome. I hope he sticks in their rotation. I'll tell you one thing, I think I'd pick him up on my fantasy team if he is a starter. Imagine the amount of strikeouts he could get if he pitches 200 innings.

  2. Dan Reiner says:

    Or imagine the amount of walks, home runs, hits, earned runs, etc. he allows..

  3. Well, in our league he would only hurt our WHIP and ERA's. If you're looking for K's though, he could be big. Of course I'm being sarcastic about all of this. But with 20 teams in the league, he might be a decent late round pick if he's a starter.

  4. smurfy says:

    I guess he'd be a cheap flyer, right? I've never played, but I guess you get a set amount of points to draft with?

    A good bet, seems to me. I watched Farnsworth with the Cubs, and that huge frame carried some considerable hope. He was tough and threw upper 90's, but an enigma: something was missing. Think I remember his slider then, but probably didn't fool anybody.

    I reckon with the Yankees, he did as Dan said, the two fastballs, and challenged them continuously, either struck 'em out or was stricken by them. Never helped much, certainly not $17 million worth, or even $5.65. Yet I recall how stubborn he sounded, before they shipped him off. Maybe he said to himself, "Self, you throw near a hunnert miles an hour, and you got good control. Strikeouts, that's the job."

    Could be that strong haid is softening up, from years of repeated beating, and Hillman and McClure have got his attention. And maybe if he squeezes the juice a little different, he should be able to put some serious spin on it.

  5. Nah, he threw sliders as a Yankee too, but he's a stupid pitcher. He falls in love with pitches, he'll distrust pitches. I think it made him predictable. I think that's why you saw stretches where he'd be pretty good, then he'd fall in love with a particular pitch and guys would start sitting on it. All of a sudden he's giving up home runs every other time out there. You'd think his catchers would just take over, but he seems stubborn out there sometimes which is not a good combination.

  6. smurfy says:

    Smacks right, and Stubborn, I think that's the word, and predictable, and, yeah, that's stupid. But if ypur suggestion is more than bait for your game, you have to hope that he will adapt.

  7. smurfy says:

    oh, I just noticed the sarcastic note. But I kinda hope the big dude from Nebraska (probably) can find some real success.

  8. nyyank55 says:

    I used to call him "Redneck" when he was with the Yankees cuz he was as dumb as they come. He always had that lost look on his face. And Rob you are right he was and probably still is STUPID. No one in NY was happier than me when they got rid of him especially thatthey were able to get Pudge. Even though we all know that didn't work out too well at that point I would have traded him for Yugo.

  9. Dan Reiner says:

    Rob, I sensed the sarcasm, because no one can take Farnsworth seriously. and nyyank, i have to disagree with you, my family (especially me) was more than happy when we found out about the trade..

  10. Jon Cohen says:

    This move is saner than you guys make it out to be. Farnsworth did, for what it's worth, throw sliders 20% and 35% of the time in the past two years. Those same two years saw babip of .387 and .335, compared to a league average that tends to stay around .300. Finally, the risk is mitigated by the fact that the Royals have nothing to lose. The innings a starter can provide are exponentially more valuable than the small effect a reliever can have (Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, anyone?). The only aspect of this move that I have to bemoan is the fact that the reliever wasn't Joakim Soria. The ineptitude of the Royals only further devalues a closer, and Soria's variegated repertoire suggests an ability to work through, and dominate, a major league lineup several times.

  11. Dan Reiner says:

    Oh Jonathan, it's not Kyle Farnsworth's precise fastball-slider stats that can make everyone hate him. It's really more that when he does/did throw the fastball, the opposing batters know when it's coming. which is why he lives with a 4.47 career ERA, mostly as a reliever. Plus, Farnsworth hasn't started a game since 2000 (and performed poorly). And you really cannot compare his value to that of Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in their relief and starting roles over their first two seasons. Either way, they were both better than Farnworth's first two seasons.

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