Results tagged ‘ Kyle Farnsworth ’

The Baddest Holds Man in The League?

By R.J. Anderson //

Kyle Farnsworth is known for four f-words: fighting, fastball, failure, and one unprintable word that encompasses the fan reaction to his failure. Another f-word that might pop up in discussion about Farnsworth this spring is fantasy — as in fantasy value. It sounds funny, but with the Tampa Bay Rays signing Farnsworth to a one-year deal (with an option for a second year) there’s an outside chance that he earns some saves this season; at the very least he’s a decent candidate for holds, given the complete overhaul of the Rays’ bullpen.

Farnsworth’s seasons since 2007 resemble a bag full of charcoal and candy. Some of the results are inedible, while others are delicious. Over the past two seasons, Farnsworth sports a solid 3.79 ERA; his peripherals (strikeout, walk, home rate) suggest his ERA should’ve been closer to 3.10. Of course, a look further back at Farnsworth’s 2007 and 2008 seasons (when Farnsworth’s cumulative ERA topped 4.60) makes it easier to digest an ERA in the high 3s as a good sign. The big change in Farnsworth’s game appears to be his reduction in walks and home runs allowed, as displayed below in percentages of total plate appearances:

Season: BB%/  HR%
2007: 10.2%/  3.4%
2008: 8.4%/  5.8%
2009: 8.3%/  1.8%
2010: 7.1%/  1.5%

The improvements coincide perfectly with Farnsworth’s increased usage of a cut-fastball, along with more consistency in release points and a different foothold on the mound. Those changes would not hold the same value if Farnsworth lost much in the way of strikeouts. Fortunately, he’s been able to strike out 22% or more of his batters faced in each of the past two seasons. Thus, Farnsworth is actually one of baseball’s more interesting developments over the past two years.

The legitimacy of this skill set alteration will be tested in 2011, as Farnsworth returns to the American League East for the first time since unceremoniously leaving the New York Yankees. The Rays have some other options to close — and may add another in the coming days. But for now, Farnsworth is a name to watch, especially in deeper leagues.

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The Bravest New Pair

By R.J. Anderson //

One of the final trades made before the deadline involved Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel heading to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for three players. The Braves hope these two help as they march toward the playoffs – could the same hold true for your NL-only fantasy team? Let’s take a look.


The long and the short of this one is no. Farnsworth’s superficial number in Kansas City looked much better this year (2.42 ERA) than in 2009 (4.58 ERA). But those numbers are deceiving. Farnsworth has posted big drops in his walk (3.38 BB/9 IP in 2009 to 2.42/9 IP in 2010) and home run rates (0.72 to 0.40) this season. But he’s also seen his strikeout rate take a dive (10.13 to 7.25), while benefiting from a lot of good luck: His home runs per flyball rate has plunged to a career-low 4.5% (career average 11.6%), while his strand rate spiked to 80.8% (career 72.9%).

Meanwhile, the Braves’ pen is already well stocked. Billy Wagner, Takashi Saito and Peter Moylan are all ahead in the pecking order for save or even hold opportunities. Effectively, Fanrsworth is coming to Atlanta to take the role of a middle reliever. There are better options out there in NL-only leagues, even among the ranks of non-closer relief pitchers.




Ankiel has put up a mediocre line of .253 AVG/.314 OBP/.453 SLG, with four homers in 105 plate appearances. That’s right on par with his previous National League experience, when he hit .251/.311/.452 with the Cardinals. That’s what Ankiel is: a decent power hitter without much in the way of contact, on-base skills, or stolen base skills who’s also a below-average defender.

Ankiel takes Nate McLouth’s position, after the incumbent center fielder got sent down following a stint on the disabled list with a concussion. Ankiel should be batting somewhere in bottom five of the Braves lineup, which makes him a decent bet for some run production. If you play in a league where positions are counted, then Ankiel has some value in center fielder. Even in standard National League-only leagues, he’s worth a look. Don’t expect the next coming of Jason Heyward and you should be fine.

For more on Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Front Office