Kyle Farnsworth

He returns! Of course, it’s a little different now than in 2005, when he joined as the closer for a Braves team desperately in need of anyone who wasn’t Dan Kolb or Chris Reitsman to fill the role. Farnsworth was born in Wichita but raised in Fulton County. He was drafted in the 47th round out of a Tifton college by the Cubs in 1994, signed as a draft-and-follow in 1995. He didn’t always pitch well in the minors, but rose quickly anyway, making it up to the majors, as a starting pitcher, in 1999. The results were not very good, and the Cubs moved him to the bullpen. He had a high strikeout rate from the beginning, but a tendency towards control meltdowns and gopheritis held him back at first. In 2001, he blossomed into one of the best relievers in the game, throwing 82 innings and striking out 107, posting a 2.74 ERA as one of Tom Gordon’s setup men. (Sharing the duty… Todd Van Poppel.) However, in 2002, he was terrible, posting a 7.73 ERA. A good year followed in 2003, then a bad year in 2004. In 2005, he was traded to the Tigers, where he moved into the closer role on those occasions when a 91-loss team needed a closer. They shipped him to Atlanta on Deadline Day, for Roman Colon and Zach Miner.

Farnsworth did a great job in the Braves bullpen in the regular season, saving ten games in ten attempts and posting a 1.98 ERA. It came crashing down in the Division Series, however. He was brought into the eighth inning, in relief of Tim Hudson, with two men on and none out, but a 6-1 lead. He got an out, then loaded the bases on a walk, followed by a grand slam to Lance Berkman. In the ninth, still with a one-run lead, he gave up a two-out homer to Brad Ausmus, blowing the game and after a long time delay (nine innings) ending the Braves season. He then wasted little time getting out of Atlanta, signing a contract with the Yankees to set up even though the Braves wanted to bring him back to close.

It didn’t go well for him in the Bronx, as he put up consecutive years of ERAs over four, fell into a mopup role, and became one of the less popular Yankees of recent years. He recovered a bit in 2008, and the Yankees shipped him back to the Tigers, right before the deadline, for what was left of Pudge Rodriguez. He didn’t pitch well for the Tigers, but the Royals, being the Royals, signed him to a three-year contract anyway. He had another bad year, but wasn’t going anywhere. This year, he has posted career-low home run and walk rates, allowing him to put up a 2.42 ERA despite a decline in strikeouts.

Farnsworth has a temper; he’s been involved in several incidents on the field and in the clubhouse. There are those who think he’s a headhunter, but with the poor pitching control he’s shown over the years that might not be true. Middle name is “Lynn”.

Kyle Farnsworth Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

294 thoughts on “Kyle Farnsworth”

  1. If there’s anything to like about re-acquiring Farnsworth, it’s that we don’t have the same sketchy endgame situation as we did in ’05 (or after).

    So, Farnsworth just becomes another of several options, all of whom can strike you out.

  2. Farnsworth may be a better 11th pitcher than Chavez, but that’s about all the credit I can give him with his track record.

    Kevin, at least there’s Wipeout. Not much plot, but watching contestants go splat is very cathartic.

  3. As long as we don’t expect too much out of him (and given that we didn’t pitch him last night, I think we have the right idea), I think this is a very good pickup. It might not have been 100 percent necessary, but it’ll help nevertheless.

  4. GO GET HIM FRANK!

    Ugh, I want Dunn in the lineup so bad I can’t stand it.

    What are the changes that Glaus did get hurt on the bad throw Yunel made several months ago, and he’s hiding it? I know it’s much more likely to be the knees and all that, but the injury and the decline seem to correlate a bit.

  5. They don’t have to. They know we’ll never take on the extra payroll necessary to get him.

  6. Well, if you want to get more optimistic, I still for the life of me don’t understand why everyone on here is so negative about a team that is in first place by three games at the start of August…to the point of talking wistfully about next season. This is a potential playoff team and all anybody can do is talk about what’s wrong with it. It’s starting to piss me off a little bit, to be honest.

  7. on waiver claims…
    because i learn by example, let’s throw this out there:

    kenshin kawakami is placed on waivers and the reds claim him. the braves then have an option to:

    1. work out a trade
    2. pull him back
    3. send him to the reds without paying him another dime

    is this correct?

  8. I really can’t believe we brought back Farnsworth. We should bring back Kenny Lofton and Gary Sheffield as well and reunite the Holy Trinity of Braves D-Bags.

  9. Ryan c.,

    You have got it. Waiver rules in 3 easy steps.

    EXCEPT I would amplify that the Reds would have a binding obligtion to pay KK.

    Also add, if a trade or acquistion is not complete before 8/30, then acquired player may not compete in the postseason for the new team that year.

  10. I believe that is correct, yes. Also, after the trade deadline, if he clears waivers, we can then involve him in a trade at any time.

  11. man…seriously, if the braves can trade kk and chipper retires, the sky is the limit for offseason signings/acquisitions.

  12. @14, isn’t there an injury waiver for that rule? I am pretty sure it has been abused on more than one occasion.

  13. @13–there’s no reason to think the Reds would want KK–they already have a good rotation and I think they’re expected to get Harang back

    I was hoping–admittedly unrealistically–that Freeman might get the call instead of Diory. Under ideal circumstances Freeman would get more time in the minors, but Glaus’s current performance is far from ideal circumstances. And if Freeman struggled then he’d go back down when Prado comes back.

  14. Jordan Schafer is on Mississippi’s 7-day DL with inflammation in his left hand. Why doesn’t MLB have a 7-day DL?

  15. 1. Infante 2B, 2. Heyward RF, 3. Jones 3B, 4. McCann C, 5. Hinske 1B, 6. Gonzalez SS, 7.Ankiel CF, 8. Cabrera LF, 9. Lowe P

    Glaus resting and Cabrera playing, after trashing Dickey last month

  16. Because it would be too easy for major league teams to abuse. You have a day off, your fifth starter goes on the DL with “tendinitis” or something else you can’t verify (and all pitchers are pretty much hurting all the time) and you effectively have a 26-man roster. Same reason for the 10-day rule on minor league assignments.

  17. Hey, congrats to UGA!

    It isn’t every week that a school receives the dual honor of being named the Number 1 party school AND taking the lead in the Fulmer Cup.

  18. BTW, Josh Willingham is 9-50 since the All-Star break. Not saying he is not a good player, but he has a history of slumping post ASG. He would have helped but I don’t he would be worth one of the top prospects.

    What a match up tonight. A terrible offense (Mets) against a lousy pitcher (Lowe).

  19. #14 that’s the most important part and why KK will clear waivers.

    #19 – the 7 day DL would be abused by MLB GMs. Maybe the union has something to say about it too? Just guessing there.

  20. continuing the Waiver Wire education…
    if more than 1 team places a claim on a player, does the team with worst record get first dibs on him? or does more than 1 claim automatically send the player back to the original team?

    thats the part that always confuses me

  21. thus far, i enjoy seeing ankiel in the lineup on a daily basis. he’s hit the ball hard since coming to atlanta.

  22. @31 – Agreed on Ankiel, although just about anything would have been better than McLouth out there.

  23. so how does the waiver claiming process work. I know that a player is on waivers for 48 hrs. Do all teams place their bid throughout that time frame and the worst place team then gets to try and trade with the team? Or does it go team by team until the Braves have a chance to put a claim on him?

  24. 33,
    There used to be an excellent article on this subject written by a former MLB exec, but he took down the site, presumably because he got another job in baseball.

    I think everyone places their claims, and after 48 hours it’s awarded to the team with the worst record in the players’ league that claimed him, or the team with the worst record in the other league that claimed him if no teams in the players’ league claimed him.

  25. one of the bloggers on the phillies main site wrote this:
    “If I had more time, I would look into the Braves’ home record success this year. Last night, Chipper was asked why the Braves were so good at home this year and he said he didn’t know because they weren’t very good at home over the last few years. That got me to thinking that maybe Selig was having the umps give the Braves some kind of special treatment at home for Cox’s last year.”

  26. Re: the Phillies blogger…

    Yeah…that’s exactly why we are in first place over the Phils. That explains it.

  27. He’s hit the nail on the head there. If they were going to fix the games, they’d just do the ones at Turner Field. It’s too tricky to do any on the road.

  28. Re: PHA DL
    Give a team an excuse to fold and, most often, it will.

    Even though I have a ton of respect for this group of Phils, I hope they got that memo.

  29. Sorry I haven’t been online recently, I’ve been traveling. Spent a few very enjoyable hours drinking with Ububba and his girlfriend in New York, and right now I’m in vacation. Life’s pretty good, all things considered.

    One great thing about the Corey Hart contract is I don’t have to worry about us acquiring him.

  30. @12

    We’re in first place because we played extremely well for a couple of months while the Phils struggled. I don’t know if you’ve been watching any games lately, but the team looks awful right now and the Phils are heating back up and our lead is slowly evaporating.

  31. The bottom half of tonight’s Philly line up is Francisco, Ruiz, Ransom, Valdez. We need to open the gap up a little bit before they get Utley and Howard back.

  32. Saw the shot of Farnsworth in the bullpen. Immediate thought: “Good, the Braves already have someone up in the pen in case Lowe gets in trouble.”

  33. @51 – We’re also in first place because we have the best home record in baseball. If we can keep it up with a home-heavy schedule in August we should be in good shape.

  34. You gotta be kidding me. They pause the Braves game on MLB Network to turn on A-Rod. Yawn.

  35. Backing Halladay, the Phils get back-to-back HRs from Ruiz & Francisco. They only need a little bit when that guy’s pitching.

  36. Thank you, Mr. Hirschbeck.

    Bethany, don’t run yet; we’re going to need you more later.

  37. Dickey is the heart and soul of this 2010 Mets squad. In a way, that’s pretty pathetic. It says a lot about the Mets.

  38. He said that he has been chasing his own tail. Not really sure what he meant by that…

    Probably just another way to say that he sucks.

  39. Smoltz is awesome, tbqh. I don’t care what anyone says about being too hyper or talkative. I love him in the booth.

  40. Thanks for not scoring on that, Zombie Luis!

    Even Lowe looks good against the Mets offense.

  41. New Guy now 1 for his last 23.

    This will go down as Wren’s worst trade before it is all said and done.

  42. Apparently there is a bit of an advantage to having a firstbaseman who can bend over and move around a little bit.

  43. ajcbraves:

    “Combined w/ their 3-for-24 in the last two games at Cincy, the #Braves are 6-for-43 with RISP over 4 gms including tonight”

    Make that 6 for 44.

  44. I’ll take a bases loaded walk for the go-ahead, but if we have to rely on that to score just our second run against Dickey..

    Pathetic.

    Ditto what Hinske said.

  45. What an awful AB by Hinske. Swinging at the first two pitches when Dickey can’t find the zone. Go beat up a water cooler, jackass.

  46. Sure is a good thing we don’t have to deal with any of Escobar’s antics anymore.

    Hey, it only matters that Alex Gonzalez is a “good clubhouse guy” who laughs at the others’ jokes and is part of the cool crowd there. This is the way to run a ball team.

    Performance does not matter, only “chemistry” does.

  47. Great job there by Lowe to pitch around “the guy we got to help win the pennant.”

    I may start calling Gonzalez The Chemist.

  48. PSA: The constant bitching about the trade every single AAG at-bat is exactly as annoying as the ragging on Yunel was.

  49. so much for the Frenchy range….Im telling you, best trade ever – Planting Frenchy on the Mets team

  50. Ok, I’ve already had enough of Farns.

    Hitting him would have been so much more satisfying.

  51. I wonder how many four pitch walks Francoeur has in his career. Can that be checked on baseball reference?

  52. Three 3-0 counts in four hitters. Yeah, this was worth Collins, Blanco, Chavez, or a bubble gum wrapper.

  53. Actually, Carter got Farns off the hook. Now let’s vulture a win for this schmuck.

  54. I’m sure Farnz was nervous. But if he keeps peeing on the carpet he’s going in the doghouse.

  55. A sacrifice bunt and trying to steal probably isn’t a great idea when the pitcher can’t throw a strike. Thanks, Jerry!

  56. Jeffy, coming into the game, had in 69 PA with a 3-0 count drawn 66 walks, 30 of them intentional and probably a lot of the others semi-intentional.

  57. Great call PHing with Glaus.
    Why force them to take out a struggling pitcher for one who is red hot?

  58. Feliciano is much better than Acosta. I don’t blame Bobby for that one. Glaus has to wake up for us to succeed.

  59. The Braves game plan was to go the other way or up the middle with Dickey….I guess Bc felt Diaz could do it.

  60. I know Glaus is pissed…..probably thought he had the night off. I just hope Venters arm does not fall off at the same time Glaus whole body gives out.

  61. Hessman pinch-hitting in this spot? Did Cox and Manuel place money on each other’s teams tongiht?

  62. 196,
    I know that, I’m curious why he chose to use a guy who swings at everything to hit against a kunckleballer when he had a full bench.

  63. Our bench is weakened though with Infante starting. The other options were Glaus or .300 OBP Conrad, since Bobby won’t use the backup catcher and Diory sucks.

    I probably would have used Conrad against Dickey, though.

  64. Conrad shouldve pinch hit against Dickey, Matt shouldve been in there where Glaus was….either way, Diaz shouldve got that runner home

  65. @196
    Trying to figure out why Bobby does what he does with personnel is an eternal mystery.

  66. either way, Diaz shouldve got that runner home

    That’s the key point. Bobby does whatever but the players have to execute at some point.

  67. Acosta is actually having a good season, but let’s be honest–even if he wasn’t the Braves wouldn’t hit him. It’s after the 2nd inning, after all.

  68. Let’s see if Francoeur still has that sh**-eating grin on his face when he’s declined arbitration after the season.

  69. This team’s fairy tale is over. I’m tired of this bullcrap. They aren’t good enough. When you lose a game to the single worst ballplayer to wear a uniform, you aren’t going to make the playoffs.

  70. Diaz has better hitting and on-base ability than Conrad, but Bobby should have pinch-hit Conrad. Moral of the story: if the crapshoot doesn’t work to our favor, Bobby is wrong. With that in mind, WHY DID BOBBY BRING IN WAGNER TO PITCH TO FRANCOEUR?! GET JESSE CHAVEZ BACK!

    How about the players have to get it done, and it’s not Bobby’s fault we can’t hit for a lick?

  71. Top of the order coming up. Better make something happen or this will be a miserable night.

  72. We simply aren’t playing well right now. When Francoeur hits an opposite field bomb on you, you know things aren’t going your way.

  73. Nice play by Chipper…..too bad he will miss the next few games bc of it. TP…..it’s been a nice run.

  74. So I’m not watching but I’m assuming Suckcouer hit a game winning homerun? If so, how typical.

  75. Our 1-4 hitters have reached base eight times… and neither scored nor driven in a run.

  76. Wow, they had a pretty heavy shift on there for Heyward. Never seen that before for him.

  77. I freaking hate this team. This must be what it felt like to be a Mets fan when they lost the 7 game lead in September. Except we aren’t good enough to get to September with the lead.

  78. Two game lead.

    I kind of would rather see them lose the division lead quickly rather than cling to it for two more weeks before it inevitably happens.

  79. Wagner’s good only when he has a three run lead. Otherwise he sucks. How many close games has he blown? Wagner is not the Guy you want in a big game. It’s horrible. And the offense naturally sucks.

  80. What a joke…make K Rod look like frickin Rivera. Blanco sets up in the right handed batters box and they just flail away. The lack of clutch hitting is what is going to cost this team. They lost on Sunday because of missed opportunities and lost again tonight for the same reason. Not a good vibe right now

  81. old brave that’s a renewed brave gives up the go-ahead run, then old brave homers to give another old brave the win against the braves. just f’n stupid.

  82. Where did Bobby mismanage? Pinch-hitting with our best pinch-hitter? Pinch-hitting with Glaus? If Glaus is simply slumping, you have to stick with him. You can’t just bury him on the bench and play Hinske. That’s not the answer.

    Who did you want to throw in the ninth? If you bring in someone other than Wagner, you criticize Bobby for saving the “Closer(TM)”.

    Sometimes the players just don’t get the job done, and the knee-jerk reaction may be to blame the manager, but Bobby didn’t groove a fastball to Francoeur.

  83. This loss is just cruel. Just unseemly to only manage 2 runs off a piece of crap like RA Dickey and then allow a bigger, more evil piece of crap like Frenchy to beat us. God I hate Baseball right now. And yeah, now the Giants and Buster Posey. The schedule is cruel. Phillies in first by Sunday.

  84. Bethany, what team would you like? Last year’s team. 2008? This team came back from 8-0 to beat the Reds. This team has been in first place since the end of May. This loss sucks, I get it. We have flaws. I wish we were the ’27 Yankees but we’re not. Just roll with the punches and let’s get ’em tomorrow.

  85. It sucks that we’re playing so bad, but we’re not too far removed from Mac saying “this team is so resilient” for their ability to come from behind. The resiliency that got us to this point has somehow left, and I hope we can get it back.

    Remember also when Wagner was our nasty stud closer and we couldn’t care less what we got for Soriano? We’re about two weeks removed from being the best team in the NL. The problem is that I don’t know what team we are. Are we the April/late July team or the team that has played the rest of the season?

    It’s just frustrating, but there’s really not much you can do.

  86. @288, Well said. 2 out of 3 would be nice and I like my chances with Medlen on the mound.

  87. RA Dickey is not a piece of crap. Have you been paying attention? He has been pitching great ball. The Braves offense is horrid now but it’s ridiculous to say Dickey I bad.

    The Braves now have a worse record than the wild card leader. It’s still early but this could end up being a disaster of a year. I just don’t see where the offense is going to come from the rest of the year

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