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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

It might be time to call somebody up

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on May 31, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Here’s Kyle Farnsworth’s line since Joba was taken out of the set-up role:

4 games
4.1 innings
6 hits
3 earned runs
2 walks
1 strikeout
2 home runs

Is that a cause for concern? That seems like a cause for concern.





47 Responses to “It might be time to call somebody up”

  1. Tseng May 31st, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Maybe he just needs to throw harder? Speed wins games right?

  2. Mr. Faded Glory May 31st, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    4 innings is still just 4 innings. It’s a pretty small sample size.

  3. Ashish Skaria May 31st, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Maybe the Yankees need to give the 8th inning duties to Edwar.

  4. Derrreck May 31st, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    More concern should be on the captain… more than a quarter of his hits came from 5 games this season…. and he has played in 48!

  5. Bob May 31st, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    4 innings is still just 4 innings. It’s a pretty small sample size.

    You’re kidding right?

    Is 2+ years a large enough sample size for you?

    The guy can’t be trusted.

  6. whozat May 31st, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Do they need a long-man or another setup option more? Are they ready to give someone other than Veras a look? Do they think Ollie needs some more time in the minors to go back to a 1-inning type role?

    Personally, I keep Britton and Hawk for 6th-7th duty, move Kyle to 7th-8th inning, give Edwar a shot at some 8th inning work, and send Veras and Ollie to the minors for Giese (long man to soak up innings while Joba’s shortened) and Patterson to try out as a late-innings guy.

  7. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 May 31st, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Or just Farnsworth being Farnsworth

  8. sammy May 31st, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    the most concern for me is his inability to pitch effectively on a consistent basis.

    like last night – threw two pretty nice pitches to get Morneau in a hole. And leaves the third in the breadbasket for Morneau to crush.

    (I say this almost glowingly, because while at the game last night, I accurately predicted that Morneau would get a hit after the 0-2 count. I didn’t say it would be a 400-foot shot to right-center…)

  9. ham fighter May 31st, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    i think the long-man situation is very close to being settled. horne and karstens are both back and throwing and once they settle in, one of them will likely take that spot.

  10. Cor Shep May 31st, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I wonder if anyone else has realized this: We all know when they use Olly it’s for 2-3 innings mostly for mop-up, and usually gives up some runs. But has anyone seen that he does great for the first inning of relief, mostly no runs. Then in the next 1-2 innings he lets up a lot of runs. Olly can be lights out if he would just be used as how a reliever should be – to pitch 1 inning. Yes he was a starter, but clearly they converted him to a reliever for a reason, and that wasn’t to pitch 3 innings… If he wasn’t pitching 3 innings every time he came out, his ERA would be a looooooooot lower..

  11. whozat May 31st, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    So, we all know Sexson is pretty terrible in general. However, he’s hitting lefties well this year. If the Mariners DFA him, and he’s available for the league minimum, do you try him out as a righty 1b option in place of Ensberg or duncan?

  12. David May 31st, 2008 at 3:41 pm


  13. whozat May 31st, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    “But has anyone seen that he does great for the first inning of relief, mostly no runs. ”

    yeah, a lot of us have noticed that. I think he should be in the mix for a late innings spot, but I also think he should go to AAA to kind of readjust to that role.

  14. whozat May 31st, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    “i think the long-man situation is very close to being settled. horne and karstens are both back and throwing and once they settle in, one of them will likely take that spot.”

    It’d be a waste to put horne in a mopup role. And Karstens has been terrible. Giese actually done a really good job in AAA. Why not give him a callup if you want a mopup guy?

  15. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 May 31st, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    …Did anyone just see that on FOX? Man, I think when Byrnes is done playing he might take up acting…


  16. Owlnation May 31st, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I’m not sure which is worse. Krazy Kyle’s ptiching, or Girardi’s seeming denial of the fact that Krazy Kyle’s a bad pitcher.

    We’ve all known how bad he is for 2+ years. At least Mr. Torre kept him out of the way for the last part of the season.

    Girardi said he was his previous catcher in Chicago and he could fix him. Yep. He couldn’t, he was wrong, and it’s time he admitted it.

  17. Joey D May 31st, 2008 at 3:47 pm


  18. ham fighter May 31st, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    whozat, karstens will come around, and what are we really looking for in a long-man? i agree with you about horne though, but you never know.

    rebecca you should have heard byrnes on his xm radio show this winter, he’s a very funny guy.

  19. Luthien May 31st, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Ya, doesnt really make a whole lot of sense not to try Edwar in the 8th. Pitching really well and could he be much worse???

  20. ham fighter May 31st, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    edwar is our best bet out of the bullpen against LH batters right now. id like to see girardi be a little less tied to who pitches which inning and go by who’s coming up instead.

  21. CB May 31st, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    It’s funny, all winter and spring we heard about the “new” Kyle Farnsworth.

    And in the beginning of the year he did pitch better.

    But as the year has gone on, Farnsworth has trended right back to all of his career performance numbers.

    In many ways his performance to date has been considerably worse than it was last year.

    Farnsworth is in no way having a good year anymore. That spurt where he pitched better – that was a small sample effect.

    He’s ERA is now 4.44/ WHIP 1.52/ BB:9 – 3.33, K/9- 7.4. These are all numbers very much in line with his terrible performance last year and his overall poor career numbers.

    However, there are three areas where Farnsworth’s performance this year is much different so far this year and much, much worse than even compared to years past.

    The primary things is that he’s giving up home runs at an astonishing rate. He’s allowing 3.0 HR/ 9 innings.

    That is by far the worst HR rate on the entire staff and is in all likelihood the worst home run rate in all of baseball.

    If he were a starting pitcher, Farnsworth would be on a pace to give up 90-100 HR over the course of a season.

    He is a complete, extreme outlier with respect to giving up home runs. The yankee’s staff average is 1 HR/ 9 innings.

    And much of the reason why the yankee team HR rate is so high is because that figure o 1/9 includes farnswroth’s numbers.

    So Farnsworth is giving up HRs at well over 300% higher a rate than the average yankee pitcher so far.

    Last year he was giving up 1.3 HR/9innings – which was one of the league’s worst rates to begin with.

    In line with the HR’s, hitters have a .607 Slugging percentage against farnsworth. Again – that is astoundingly bad. That means when hitter make contact against him they are driving it very hard. Last year his slugging pct against was a terrible .415.

    And the last big thing with Farnsworth is that he’s been truly awful against left handed hitters. They have a .371 BA, .452 OBP .771 SLG % and a 1.224 OPS. Again, just amazingly bad numbers this year. He can’t pitch to lefty hitters.

    Could this change? Sure. In fact, I can’t fathom a major league pitcher being this bad. But this is not simply an issue of “small samples” Farnsworth has already thrown 24 innings this year. He hasn’t thrown more than 67 innings over hte past 4 years. So he’s likely over 1/3 his total innings allotment this year already. 1/3 is not a “small sample.”

    The main thing Farnsworth has been better about this year is his walks are down – 3.3/9 compared to 3.9/9 last year.

    But this is one of the things which also makes me wonder – looking at all of his numbers I wonder if Farnsworth is trying harder to throw strikes and in doing so he’s just leaving the ball out over the plate more giving hitters more pitches to drive.

  22. MoBoy May 31st, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    You know LaTroy and Kyle had long streaches of scoreless innings too like Edwar.But unlike Edwar they played all season and actually pitched in the 8th inning.

    Edwar might be good but like Kyle he has problems giving up tooo many homeruns.

    Give Edwar a shot but he isn’t the answer.

  23. Bellaire May 31st, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Who does Pete hate more?


    Real tough call

  24. LadyBug626 May 31st, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    the potential problem with edwar is that he tends to give up HRs as well. He’s got good stuff but I remember some of his performances from last year. There’s a lot to be desired.

  25. Yankee2123 May 31st, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    This guy is a bust. He should be used for blowout games in a mopup role, and should never come in when the game counts.

  26. whozat May 31st, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    “the potential problem with edwar is that he tends to give up HRs as well. He’s got good stuff but I remember some of his performances from last year. There’s a lot to be desired.”

    Yeah, he did that, last year. This year, he has yet to give up a run of any kind, anywhere. I figure he’s earned a shot. If they start teeing off on him, how is that any worse than what we’re getting with Kyle?

  27. whozat May 31st, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    “whozat, karstens will come around, and what are we really looking for in a long-man?”

    Maybe Karstens will come around, and be the same scary-fly-ball guy we remember. But Giese’s been really good at AAA this year. Why take Karstens over Giese? Neither one has much projection. We’re just looking for someone to eat some innings decently. Giese’s pitching better, and it’s not like Karstens has any better stuff.

  28. Darkstrand May 31st, 2008 at 4:48 pm


    heres a quiz for you peter abrah. Can you think of more than 5 major league pitchers this year who have pitched an equivalent amount (or more) of innings and haven’t had 4 innings in which they gave up 3 runs?

  29. Aaron(From Albany) May 31st, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    y is everyone on this blog obsessed w. Britton?? He sucks guys and girls come on. Veras has the stuff to be a good 8th inning guy..

  30. Eugie May 31st, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    What are you talking about Pete? I thought the 8th inning didn’t matter?

  31. S.A.-Just win games May 31st, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I am concerned
    Edwar for the 8th!

  32. Don Vito A. Bellamo May 31st, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Edwar for the 8th gets my vote !

  33. Paul May 31st, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    From the Archive
    Farnsworth’s 9/18/05 pitching line

    9 IP
    0 Hits, 0 BB’s
    42 K’s
    4 players taken to the hospital

  34. Jeremy May 31st, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Farnsworth can’t pitch multiple innings. He can’t pitch on back-to-back days. He makes stupid pitch selections. He puts runners on virtually every inning. He has not shown dominance coming out of the pen since 2005. He has now started allowing HRs at an absurd rate.

    Other than those issues, what’s not to like about him as our 8th inning guy?

    Favoritism toward veterans can be painful to watch. If Farnsworth were in his third year in the majors, he would be a garbage time reliever. But since he’s had some great years in the past, and had a decent stretch this season, he’s the bridge to Mo.

    At least fow now. Maybe the idea is to give Farnsworth a few shots in the 8th so the fans and media won’t go berzerk when the Yankees try out a prospect like Melancon in that spot. They will be so happy to see someone who isn’t Farnsworth pitch the 8th, they won’t care that they don’t recognize his replacement.

    Of course, the PR problem with making Joba a starter is that no one can replace him in the pen and be that good. Every time the new 8th-inning guy blows a lead, or even gives up a run, people will say “Joba wouldn’t have given up that hit.” Joba had a dominant stretch but his relief career was cut short before we could get to see more than 1 bad regular season performance (the Dellucci game), so it’s easy to think he would have an ERA less than 1 if he spent his whole career in the pen.

    The Yankees are treading water for now with Farnsworth in the 8th. They have to be. They must see how bad he is. Soon they will start shuffling in whoever is pitching well at the time. Eventually they will stumble upon someone who will really flourish in the spot. It just won’t be Farnsworth.

  35. Dynasty Is Destiny! May 31st, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Regarding using Edwar Ramirez in the 8th, whozat said:

    “I figure he’s earned a shot. If they start teeing off on him, how is that any worse than what we’re getting with Kyle?”

    I agree 100%…where’s the logic in continuing to throw a guy out there, who, based on a substantial amount of recent evidence is likely to give up more home runs in the future…

    Because of the nature of Farnsworth’s role, those future home runs will very likely be given up in close or tied games…

    If Farnsworth continues at this rate, who knows how many close games will be lost in the 8th…

    Furthermore, when you have someone who’s unreliable in that 8th inning slot, it takes away the manager’s option to use him in tough spots earlier-like the 7th inning with 2 outs but a runner in scoring position for example…

    What many people forget to point out, is that a quality 8th inning reliever will sometimes be used earlier as well…but if you can’t rely on him to pitch the 8th, how can you rely on him to come in the 7th with runners on base?

    Bottom line:

    Ramirez in the 8th is a better bet right now…

  36. nyyanks23 May 31st, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    JB Cox

    remember that name

  37. Wang IS Taiwan May 31st, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I think the bottomline is that Farnsworth could never stand the heat. Get him out of the kitchen! He can only be trusted with non-pressure situations.

  38. CB May 31st, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    “Why take Karstens over Giese?”

    Karstens is on the 40 man roster. I think that’s the main reason. You give Karstens a shot before you need to make a 40 man roster move with Giese.

    Call up Giese now and he doesn’t do well you have to DFA him.

  39. bodhisattva May 31st, 2008 at 6:17 pm


    First of all, you are one of the posters I enjoy reading. I enjoy the whole blog, but some posters, when I see their name, I say ‘oh, good..’ and anticipate a good read.

    In terms of Sexson, NO. JUST NO.

    He is the worst non-contact guy; what he does routinely is a parody of us at our cold-weather, big-swinging worst. My calm words, whenever he comes to the plate against us:

    “Don’t worry, he’ll get himself out.”

    I will have to do something drastic if we even THINK about him…not sure what it would be, though…

  40. CB May 31st, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    As usual Chad Jennings is on top of things and here is his take on the pending long man call up:

    “Jeff Karstens: Has a spot on the 40-man but has looked spotty at best since coming off the disabled list. If he’s limited to four innings or so tonight, he’s probably your guy.

    Dan Giese: Certainly been the best of the bunch this season and if he were on the 40-man, he would be a no-brainer. If the Yankees are looking at this as a one-night only, just in case call-up, then there’s no sense adding Giese to the roster for the one night. If, however, they are planning to finally carry a long man for the long haul, Giese might be a very real option. Wonder if they could 60-day either Phil Hughes or Jonathan Albaladejo.”


  41. JJJJ May 31st, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Farns is horrible. So is Hawkins. So is Karstens. Edwar is worth a shot in the 8th.

    The Yankees have many many options in the minors. This Robertson kid is pitching well. JB Cox hasn’t given up a run yet in AAA. Patterson is more than holding his own. Melancon in AA is a stud. Horne is almost back. Then later in the season, we may see some of Humberto Sanchez. The bullpen is not the biggest worry on this team. The lack of quality starting pitching, lack of a lefty for the late innings and wealth of quickly aging, overpriced vets IS. They will compete this year, but should be ready to explode next year.

  42. frank and beans May 31st, 2008 at 9:34 pm


  43. Jon May 31st, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    They need to trade for Brian Fuentes.
    He can set up plus they need a lefty out of the pen.

  44. ham fighter June 1st, 2008 at 1:00 am

    jon heyman said yesterday that fuentes will be available, b/c they signed manny corpas to be thier closer, but right now, fuentes is the closer and corpas has a 6.59 era and gave up 3 er w/o recording an out last night. that makes them less likely to move fuentes right now, and b/c he’s getting saves, his price is going to be very high. still, how much is a LH set-up guy worth to the yankees?

  45. Jon June 1st, 2008 at 2:09 am

    Lefty, Righty??? Does it matter which arm the guy is throwing from if he is getting outs…The Yankees need to try something different because I cant see how their current 7,8 inning guys are even going to last to the break.

    Totally off the wall but whats the chances if Joba succeeds as a starter, they try to throw Hughes or Kennedy in as a late inning guy.

    Just a thought.

  46. The Last Yankee Fan (formerly, ER, from the set of) June 1st, 2008 at 9:37 pm


  47. J-Mann June 2nd, 2008 at 3:46 am

    I am from Austin, so I got to watch J Brent Cox’s career here at Texas. The dude is dominant. You don’t forget a guy like Huston Street too quickly, but Cox almost made Texas fans do just that. His slider is unholy, and I see that he’s continuing his dominant form after a year off. I would think he’s a big time candidate for the 8th inning role. Just want to let ya’ll know that if he’s called up, you’ve got a good one on your hands

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