Farris Opts for Retirement Instead of Return to Hartford
Pitcher James Farris, whom the Rockies acquired last year from the Cubs for pitcher Eddie Butler, retired this week.
The Rockies planned to have Farris open the season in the bullpen at Double-A Hartford, which is where he began 2017 and dominated.
Farris, who turned 26 on Wednesday, went 0-0 with nine saves and a 1.45 ERA in 17 games for Hartford. He had two walks and 28 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. The Rockies promoted Farris to Triple-A Albuquerque where he made his debut June 1 and went 1-3 with a 4.62 ERA in 31 games along with 15 walks and 41 strikeouts in 39 innings.
The Rockies were considering protecting Farris on their 40-man roster when they sent him to the Arizona Fall League. But Farris struggled there, going 0-0 with a 11.57 ERA in nine appearances, allowing 16 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. And the Rockies left him off their 40-man roster.
Farris throws a 91-95 mph four-seam fastball that sits at 92 mph. The pitch doesn’t have a lot of sink but isn’t flat, either. Farris commanded his fastball very well at Hartford but less consistently at Albuquerque. Farris also throws a slider and changeup, the latter the better of his secondary pitches.
The Rockies felt Farris had a chance to have average fastball command, which was going to be his challenge and be vital for him to reach his potential and pitch in relief in the majors. They saw him developing an above average slider and a solid average changeup.
The trade of Butler, 27, who is in a long relief role with the Cubs, came as no surprise, since he was never able to capitalize on his opportunities and find a niche with the Rockies. They drafted Butler 46th overall in 2012 as a supplemental first-round choice out of Radford University.
After designating Butler for assignment, the Rockies traded him to the Cubs for Farris on Feb. 1, 2017. The Rockies also received an additional $255,000 to their international signing pool in the deal as the teams swapped bonus slots with the Rockies receiving the Cubs’ top international pick, No. 28 overall, in exchange for No. 74.