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Farnsworth steps up into primary setup man

MLB.com

ATLANTA -- If Kyle Farnsworth had been throwing in the mid-90s throughout Spring Training, there's a good chance the Mets would have taken him north when camp broke. As it was, the Mets cut Farnsworth at the end of March, putting him back on their active roster only after Bobby Parnell went on the disabled list.

Somehow in that time, Farnsworth went from throwing his fastball in the mid-80s to the mid-90s, approaching the velocity he showed throughout the first 15 years of his career. As a result, the Mets have installed him as their primary setup man.

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ATLANTA -- If Kyle Farnsworth had been throwing in the mid-90s throughout Spring Training, there's a good chance the Mets would have taken him north when camp broke. As it was, the Mets cut Farnsworth at the end of March, putting him back on their active roster only after Bobby Parnell went on the disabled list.

Somehow in that time, Farnsworth went from throwing his fastball in the mid-80s to the mid-90s, approaching the velocity he showed throughout the first 15 years of his career. As a result, the Mets have installed him as their primary setup man.

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"His location's always been pretty good," manager Terry Collins said. "But now the velocity's coming back, that makes him that much better."

Farnsworth said he tries not to pay attention to velocity "as long as I get people out." But it seems obvious that the increased radar guns have helped Farnsworth transition from the ineffective pitcher he was in Spring Training -- six earned runs in 10 innings -- to a setup man with a 2.08 ERA.

Because Farnsworth is 37 years old, Collins will be careful how often he uses the veteran -- anything beyond back-to-back appearances may be a bit much at this early juncture of the season. But the Mets are simply happy to have someone other than closer Jose Valverde pitching effectively at the back end of their bullpen.

"The fact that we lost a closer kind of changed the scenario in here," Collins said. "We didn't think those young guys were ready, so we brought up a guy who we knew could handle the situation, and he's done a good job."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.

New York Mets, Kyle Farnsworth