Just a week after being designated for assignment and released by the Tampa Bay Rays, veteran relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth has hooked on with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have assigned him to Triple-A, but if Farnsworth does eventually pitch with the MLB club, it will be the seventh MLB team for the 37-year-old.
Farnsworth was once a very good pitcher, but has struggled this season in his time with the Rays. In 29.2 innings in 2013, Farnsworth had a 5.76 ERA and just 5.76 K/9. One thing Farnsworth has always been able to do is throw hard, and while he doesn’t hit the upper 90s as easily as he once could, he does still average 95 mph on his fastball.
In all likelihood, this won’t make any legitimate impact on the Pirates’ playoff hopes down the stretch. He probably won’t even see any time with the Pirates other than his Triple-A appearances. Obviously, the rosters expand on Sept. 1, so the Pirates will be bringing some of the young bullpen arms and starting pitchers up from Triple-A Indianapolis, leaving some roster openings in Triple-A.
Indianapolis will be playing in the Triple-A playoffs, so having a veteran arm like Farnsworth is valuable for more than just MLB depth, it’s also valuable for the minor-league playoffs. The Pirates will probably be calling up big-time arms like Vic Black, Duke Welker and Stolmy Pimentel from Triple-A, so I have a hard time seeing Farnsworth throwing one pitch for the big-league club, simply because there won’t be a need.