At this point, it seems safe to say Oakland prefers left-handed relievers. With Bobby Cramer, Jerry Blevins, Craig Breslow, Brian Fuentes, and Purcey on the roster, the A’s have five southpaws available out of the pen (although that may change should Cramer slide to the rotation or back to the minors). Purcey has reverse splits throughout his career, so the A’s aren’t exactly carrying five Randy Choates, but it’s hard to find another team with more than two lefties available out of the bullpen.
The Rangers (Arthur Rhodes, Darren Oliver, and Michael Kirkman), White Sox (Matt Thornton, Chris Sale, and Will Ohman), Twins (Glen Perkins, Dusty Hughes, and Jose Mijares), Giants (Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, and Dan Runzler), Reds (Aroldis Chapman, Bill Bray, and Matt Maloney), and Braves (Johnny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty, and George Sherrill) currently have three lefty relievers apiece. No team has four or more, meaning the Athletics are out there with five.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that each of the A’s lefties has faced a higher amount of right-handed batters. Otherwise, the A’s would be limited in their usage patterns. For more on Purcey, check out my intial analysis after the Jays designated him for assignment last week.
The A’s acquired Farquhar from the Jays as part of the Rajai Davis trade on November 17, 2010. Roughly five months later, Farquhar heads back to the organization that drafted him. In between trades, Farquhar threw eight innings for Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate and struck out nine. Three of Farquhar’s top four PECOTA comparisons are Rich Gossage, Samuel Gervacio, and Pedro Strop –that seems appropriate, as Farquhar has Gossage’s personality (or at least, a mustache), Gervacio’s uniqueness in delivery (he changes arm angles), and Strop’s strikeout rate and walk issues (9.3 strikeouts and 5 walks per nine innings pitched in Double-A last season).