Braves reinforce bullpen with Farnsworth

By Jim Callis

July 31, 2005

The Braves opted for experience over youth in their bullpen Sunday, picking up Kyle Farnsworth from the Tigers for two righthanders, big league rookie Roman Colon and Triple-A prospect Zach Miner.

Farnsworth, a 29-year-old righthander, came to Detroit in a February trade with the Cubs for three prospects. He had worn out his welcome in Chicago with his inconsistent pitching and immature behavior. He fit in nicely with the Tigers, however, going 1-1, 2.32 with six saves in 46 games. He had a 55-20 strikeout-walk ratio in 43 innings, and had shackled hitters to the tune of a .192 average and one homer. Farnsworth throws harder than most big leaguers, sitting in the high 90s with his fastball and reaching the 90s with his slider. He doesn’t have a lot of movement or deception on his pitches, and he can be vulnerable if he falls behind in the count. He makes $1.975 million this season and will be eligible for free agency for the first time in his career after the season. Farnsworth has a lifetime record of 23-38, 4.57 with 10 saves in 389 games.

Colon, 25, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1995. He finally reached the majors in 2004, going 2-1, 3.32 in 18 appearances, and had spent most of this year in Atlanta, with a 1-5, 5.28 record in 23 games. His biggest problem in 2005 has been home runs, as he has allowed 10 in 44 innings while putting together a 30-14 K-BB ratio and giving up a .272 opponent average. Colon has a low-90s fastball, and also throws a slider and a splitter.

Miner, 23, got a fourth-round-record $1.25 million bonus in 2000 when he signed out of a Florida high school. He hasn’t quite lived up to expectations but he has made it up to Triple-A Richmond this season. Between Richmond and Double-A Greenville in 2005, he has gone 2-8, 4.25 in 21 games (19 starts). He has a 81-50 K-BB ratio in 106 innings, while opponents have hit .281 with six homers against him. Miner has two solid pitches in his low-90s fastball and his slider, but he needs to be more aggressive and to refine his changeup.