Danny Farquhar, a right handed relief pitcher, was designated for assignment from the Oakland A’s and claimed by the New York Yankees. The Yankees assigned him to AA Trenton. He appeared in 2 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 and started the 2012 season with the Blue Jays organization and was pitching in AA. Faquhar was once a pretty good prospect, and the short 5 feet 9 inches reliever has been pretty effective his entire minor league career besides his short stop in the A’s AAA.
So I watched his outing from 6/14/12 against Tacoma (the Mariners AAA):
He brings his arm way back behind his back and shows off some different arm angles. This seems to lead to an inconsistent release point, as sometimes he is throwing 3/4 and sometimes straight sidearm. His control was very off and it is easy to point to the arm angle problem being a big cultprit. He destroyed Alex Liddi’s bat on an inside fastball. His fastball was certainly not straight, as it moved away from lefties into righties. This pitch seems to be his only chance to get lefties out with that weird release point. It still doesn’t seem like he has swing and miss stuff. He did break out a nice slider down and in after all of those fastballs. It is a rather soft slider and he tends to hang it. This may not matter against righties with his release point, but one he hung to a righty was nearly hit out of the ballpark. Some of his sliders, the better ones, were sweeping sliders that went down and away from righties. He gave up a couple of bad luck hits but was really jamming hitters with his fastball.
I wanted to see Farquhar when he was in Toronto’s AA, so I watched his May 6th outing against the team he will play for now, the Trenton Thuinder. He went 3 innings in this one, one of the reasons I picked it. He got a weak fly-out on a fastball, then made Melky Mesa, a righty, look bad on sliders (it looks sort of like a curve, but Fangraphs lists it as a slider) striking him out. He got a whiff on a straight looking fastball (something he didn’t really show when I saw him previously) but one up and in to a righty was lined hard, and Farquhar was saved by a good defensive play. He also flashed an occasional change-up, something I also didn’t see in his more recent outing. A lefty creamed a fastball that moved in on him for a homer, which kind of reinforces the narrative that he is going to be ineffective against lefties. He immediately struck out the next hitter (a righty) and jammed another righty. He jammed the next lefty as well for a foul ball and then struck him out on a slider. To start his 3rd inning, he had to face another lefty. He got him to hit a ground-ball on a fastball low and in but it turned into a hit. Another ground-ball and good defense got him a GIDP. Cody Johnson, a lefty, hit a ball to the track for an out, ending Farquhar’s outing.
The splits definitely point to Farquhar being a ROOGY, as left handers hit .321/.362/.472 off of him in AA this year. The problem is that the Yankees already have a reliever that specializes in getting right handers out, Cody Eppley. Eppley has been pretty effective, as right handers have just a .573 OPS against him in a short sample size. Is Farquhar better than Eppley? It’s doubtful. Eppley has throw 93 innings in AAA, while Farquhar has thrown 68. Eppley has a 3.57 ERA, 9.55 K/9IP, 4.63 BB/9IP, and 1.44 WHIP. Farquhar has a 4.79 ERA, 7.71 K/9IP, 3.59 BB/9IP, and 1.58 WHIP. Farquhar is simply insurance, and not much more.