By Ryan Divish The News Tribune
CLEVELAND — Danny Farquhar was thinking about food, not his future.
Farquhar was standing in line in the clubhouse of Cheney Stadium ready to crush the postgame food spread after a disappointing 6-5 loss in extra innings on Thursday night.
But his hunger would have to wait. He was summoned into John Stearns’ office.
Farquhar walked into the office where Stearns, the Rainiers’ interim manager, bench coach Scott Steinmann and pitching coach Dwight Bernard were waiting.
“They just handed me the itinerary,” Farquhar said.
The itinerary was travel information to Cleveland for him to join the Seattle Mariners.
“I was speechless,” he said.
With a bullpen strapped from Thursday’s tough win in New York and in the middle of a stretch of nine games in the same number of days, the Mariners were forced to make a roster move, selecting Farquhar’s contract from Class AAA Tacoma and optioning Hector Noesi back to the Rainiers. To make room for Farquhar on the 40-man roster, reliever Stephen Pryor was moved from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.
“We pretty much used everybody yesterday, so we have to stay on top of their workloads,” manager Eric Wedge said. “Farquhar has been throwing well in Triple-A, so he was the guy.”
After some congratulations from his coaches and teammates, Farquhar, 26, immediately called his wife, who was in the parking lot waiting for him. He ran and gave her a big hug.
Farquhar never did go back and eat after getting the news.
“I forgot all about being hungry,” he said.
In 15 appearances with the Rainiers, Farquhar posted an 0-1 record with six saves and a 2.25 earned run average (5 earned runs in 20 innings pitched). His numbers were even better recently, giving up just one run in his last 11 relief appearances for a 0.56 ERA (one run in 16 innings). He also struck out 24 hitters and walked just two in that span.
A big part of Farquhar’s recent success has been the use of his curveball. He can run his fastball up to 95 mph and his cut fastball is right around 90 or 91. But it’s the curve ball, usually in the low 80s, that has made the difference.
“He has a good stuff, it was just a matter of using all of it,” said Mariners third base coach Daren Brown, who managed Farquhar earlier this season. “Once he started doing that, he was good. And it looks like he’s continued to be good.”
Farquhar was ignoring the curve ball early on. And he needed that pitch to provide a change in velocity and eye level.
“It’s a put-away pitch,” Brown said. “Hitters don’t see it, and they’re just not ready for it.”
Farquhar understands its importance now.
“It’s a big offspeed pitch that I need to continue to throw for strikes, continue to mix in there because I have the fastball and cutter which are too hard pitches,” he said. “Even if it’s just showing it to hitters, it’s changing the speed, changing the plane and the eye level. The curve ball is a big difference maker.”
Farquhar was acquired on July 23 last season from the New York Yankees along with pitcher D.J. Mitchell in exchange for Ichiro Suzuki.
His prior big league experience was just three appearances with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.
Pryor, Noesi odd men out
The move with Pryor from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list isn’t surprising. The Mariners are being very careful in his recovery. and Pryor also suffered a minor setback the other day.
“It’s just been slow coming,” Wedge said of Pryor’s recovery. “He tried to play catch the other day and he didn’t feel great. So we backed him off of that a little bit. For a guy that size with that injury and the way he throws, it’s not the best scenario. We knew when we started out it was going to be some time, but I don’t think we know how much right now.”
Noesi was just the odd man out with the bullpen depleted. But Wedge was quite pleased with what he saw on Thursday in the spot start.
“We’ve talked a lot about him the last year or so, that’s what we are talking about,” Wedge said. “That type of aggressiveness, that type of stuff, that little edge he had out there, that type of focus, that’s what he want.”
Morse out with eye irritation
Michael Morse was a late pregame scratch on Friday with eye irritation. It was a tough break for Morse and the Mariners. During the first three games of the road trip in New York, Morse was 7-for-12 with a double, a home run and two walks.