The End Has Come for Kyle Farnsworth

By David Hill

June 4, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Rays manager

Joe Maddon

(70) takes the ball to relieve relief pitcher

Kyle Farnsworth

(43) in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We all had to know this day was coming. In fact, it seemed as though this time would happen for some time now, when Alex Torres was called up or when Jesse Crain was acquired at the trade deadline. But now, it it official – Kyle Farnsworth is no longer going to be a member of the Rays. With the promotion of Josh Lueke, Farnsworth has been designated for assignment.

When he was signed by the Rays prior to the 2011 season, Farnsworth was essentially an afterthought in the baseball community. He had his moments of success, but was known more for a blazing fastball and his beatdown of Paul Wilson than anything else on the mound. Yet, as the Rays have typically done when signing under the radar relievers, they managed to succeed with another reclamation project. That year, Farnsworth put together his best season in the majors, going 5-1 with a 2.18 ERA, and almost doubled his career total in saves, preserving 25 games for the Rays.

Unfortunately, the season ended, and with it, so did Farnsworth’s moment in the sun. Hampered by injuries last season, he missed the first three months of 2012 and was up and down when he came back. Yet, Farnsworth still had a nice stretch from August 3rd though September 7th, with 13 consecutive scoreless outings. With the Rays potentially in need of another bullpen arm and Farnsworth havign had his moments, he was brought back on a one year deal.

However, 2013 has been a disaster for Farnsworth. Relegated to essentially mop up duty in a deep bullpen, he is in the midst of his worst season since 2002. His velocity, the one factor that had kept him on the radar over his career, has declined to the point where his average fastball is only 92.5 MPH. Farnsworth has been unable to find consistent work, and, when put into a leverage situation, has failed spectacularly more often than not.

The last memory of Farnsworth wearing a Rays uniform will be his outing on August 7th, when he put runners on second and third and got an out on a vicious line drive hit right at Yunel Escobar. Yet, just remembering his recent struggles would not do justice to Farnsworth, as he was an important piece of the Rays just two short years ago.

At the moment, Kyle Farnworth’s time as a member of the Rays is over. Barring a trade, his major league career may have come to an end as well. As unfortunate as it is, this was a moment that seemed inevitable for some time now.