Farquhar Aims To Find Home In Seattle

SEATTLE—Most minor leaguers playing winter ball do it at the request of their big league organization.

That is not the case for righthander Danny Farquhar, who told the Mariners after his first half-season in their system that he wanted to spend part of his winter pitching in Venezuela. He has done a good job of it so far.

In his first 15 Venezuelan League appearances, Farquhar used his combination of pitches thrown from a variety of arm angles to go 1-1, 1.17 with three saves for Lara.

"He came to me and told me he was going to do this," farm director Chris Gwynn said. "We didn't push it on him. But he's gone out and made a good, strong case for himself."

There is a chance that Farquhar, 25, has finally found a home with the Mariners after bouncing around over the past few years. The Blue Jays drafted Farquhar in the 10th round in 2008 out of Louisiana-Lafayette, then traded him to the Athletics after the 2010 season. The A's traded him back in April 2011, and he briefly reached Toronto during the season, yielding three earned runs in two appearances.

He opened the 2012 season with Double-A New Hampshire, and when Toronto removed him from the 40-man roster, the A's grabbed him on a waiver claim. Just a couple of weeks later, the Yankees did the same thing. He spent about a month in that organization before New York packaged him with righthander D.J. Mitchell and sent him to the Mariners for Ichiro Suzuki and cash.

Farquhar, whose best pitch is a cutter that he complements with a fastball and a slider, needs to throw more strikes. He has averaged four walks per nine innings for his career and had six in his first 15 innings in Venezuela.

Although he doesn't throw hard, the 5-foot-9 Farquhar gets plenty of movement on his pitches, resulting in 306 strikeouts over 299 career minor league innings. The movement comes from his ability to release the ball over the top, sidearm and even submarine.

"He doesn't throw anything straight," Gwynn said. "The ball is always cutting, sinking, moving. He knows how to pitch up and down, in and out."


• Catcher Mike Zunino got five votes from his fellow Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game participants as the player most likely to be a star in the big leagues. That vote total was tied for the most with Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton.

• Outfielder Jose Leal and lefthander Scott DeCecco were named the most improved player and pitcher in Mariners instructional league.