Monday, February 22, 2010

Farnsworth Starting?

Starting is 10 years in making for Farnsworth
Royals righty to have another shot after decade in the bullpen

By Dick Kaegel /
02/21/10 8:45 PM EST

Not so fast there. Here’s the way I read it.

Last year, Kyle Farnsworth didn’t do well as a set-up man… with the game on the line. He showed time and again that he tends to choke in high stress situations.

He’s got a great arm, so the Royals are trying to figure out to how to maximize the best return on their investment in him. Believe me, making him a starter will NOT bring back high returns on their investment. Plus, if he makes the rotation, then there are MAJOR problems behind Zack Greinke. Gil Meche, Brian Bannister, Robinson Tejeda, Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar all have to crash and burn in order for Farnsworth to join the rotation.

They need to get the most productive innings as they can out of him. Pitching in the rotation will get more innings out of him, but the key here is quality innings. He showed a knack at shutting the other team down when the game was NOT on the line. To me, that is the key element in his ability to provide quality innings.

The article mentions that he’s working on new pitches. So here’s what the buzz REALLY comes down to. First, he needs more innings in Spring Training to work on developing his new pitches. Throwing in the bull-pen is helpful, but he needs to see how batters react to them. Starting games during Spring Training is a good way of getting those developmental innings.

Then when the season begins, he becomes a long reliever… pitching well in less stress games (last year, no one was able to stop the bleeding once the other team began scoring runs, he seems to thrive more in these settings). That was when he seemed to have his best outings… middle of the game, no late game pressures.

If (when) we need a spot starter, Kyle Farnsworth could be an option. NOT in the regular starting rotation, but a potential “swing man” to eat up innings in long relief, or occasionally start a game.

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