Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 27 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training, and 2 we believe should be on the active roster but won't be for one reason or another. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Just yesterday we had a post commending Brian Cashman for some of the moves he had made since 2005 when he obtained more control of the Yankees. Although I do beleive he made some strong moves, one of the black marks on his record is the signing of Kyle Farnsworth to a 3 year contract. Cashman was not entirely to blame. Farnsworth had pitched as a closer in the 2005 season for the Tigers and the Braves. He saved 16 games, with a 2.32 ERA, 87 strikeouts, and 27 walks in 70 innings that season. In 2006 Farnsworth began proving that 2005 was an aberration, and 2007 sealed the case for him. 2006 was not all bad. He had that strikeout of David Ortiz in a big spot with his slider that kind of just hovered through the strike zone as Ortiz watched. Despite his 4.36 ERA that season, he did save 6 games and struck out 78 batters while giving up 28 walks in 66 innings. I myself beleived 2007 would be a rebound year for Farnsworth, but I was proved wrong.
The 2007 season proved to be very frustrating for Farnsworth. When I was at Game 3 against Cleveland this post season, he was the only player to get booed when they called his name. He started warming up later in the game and many of the fans were yelling for him to sit down. I was one of them. His fastball dropped from triple digits to the mid-nineties range. Still fast, but his fastball had about as much movement as white folk on a dance floor. In 60 innings last season, he threw for a 4.80 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 27 walks. The walks are what really got him last season. It seemed like despite the decrease in speed on his fastball, he just couldn't put it where he wanted to. He would walk players on 4 pitches. Torre lost confidence in him, and then Farnsworth got upset that he wasn't being used regularly. Couldn't imagine why.
Further more, Farnsworth was just a jerk. You could tell that Posada was having a hard time working with him. There was one game where Posada called for a slider, but Farnsworth chucked his fastball instead. It crossed Posada up and hit him in the wrist. I thought Farnsworth would be gone by the trade deadline. When the deadline came, the Yankees traded Proctor instead stating that they still beleive in Farnsworth. Really? Cashman and Girardi have both stated their faith in the guy this off season. I think that's a big mistake.
My Fearless Prediction:
Farnsworth will continue to suck and he'll be traded as soon as he has any value. The Yankees will give him a chance to succeed, but he will fail. Hopefully I'm wrong and he becomes the comeback player of the year and wins the rolaids releif award, but I highly doubt it.
Little Known Farnsworth Fact:
Kyle Farnsworth plays as a third baseman under the assumed name of Pancho Hernandez in the Caribbean Winter League.