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The Royals are going to give Kyle Farnsworth a chance to start

Feb 11, 2010, 8:29 AM EDT

Kyle Farnsworth.JPGI’ll give Royals fans a few moments to clean up the coffee they just spit all over the screen.  Done? Good. Let’s continue. Here’s Royals’ pitching coach Bob McClure:

“Kyle Farnsworth is competing for a job in the rotation. We’re going to lengthen him out and see how it goes. Because what he showed me last year was the ability to back off a
little bit and not pitch with his hair on fire. And, to be a starter,
you have to be able to just kind of go pitch-by-pitch.”

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a pitcher who has done less with more than Kyle Farnsworth. His fastball is not what it once was, but it’s still impressive. He strikes out a lot of people. While he’s no Joel Piniero, he doesn’t walk as many people as a guy with his velocity might be expected to.  He’s had flashes of brilliance. At the same time his ERA is pretty high and almost every time he’s been asked to close or do something moderately more important than get one or two outs in the sixth inning or whatever, he’s failed spectacularly.

What’s his deal?  I’ve never met the guy, but there’s a strong sense out there that he’s a few fries short of a happy meal in the brains department, which manifests itself in a Nuke LaLooshian tendency to throw gas when gas is not necessarily called for. That he just isn’t wired to think about stuff like “this guy sat dead red last time so I should maybe try a curveball this time.” Instead, he thinks “this guy sat dead red last time so I’ll go dead redder.”

All that said, this is probably worth trying if you’re the Royals. They paid Farnsworth too much money to come in and be a middle reliever, so rather than just leave him as a middle reliever, why not see if you can’t squeeze some extra value, or at the very least, extra innings out of him? If he beats the overwhelming odds against him and becomes a serviceable starter, fabulous. If he doesn’t? Well, it’s not like his failure would be the difference between winning the division or not.

In other words, I kind of like it.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Feb 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    Love the video! Did you know he can cook pasta? I can see an Olive Garden in Overland Park future for this guy!

  2. Shely - Feb 11, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    What do they have to lose? There are 3 or 4 MLB players on this team. The others are all just trying out. If they spent too much money on him, maybe they can get something in return. What can it hurt?

  3. Oscar - Feb 11, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    But isn’t he gritty?

  4. YX - Feb 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Who is that guy in your picture? Because by your description, Farnsworth cannot possibly be white!

  5. Joey B - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    I agree with Shely. They have plenty of guys in the BP that can’t pitch, having traded Ramirez and Nunez. If he adds nothing as an RP, why not see if he can nothing as a starter.

  6. JudyJ - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Love this guy……

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