The Staten Island-born Varvaro was a twelfth-round pick of the Mariners in 2005. He busted as a starter, but converted to the bullpen in 2009 did some fine work in the Southern League before getting beaten up in AAA and the big leagues. The Mariners waived him, just as they did Eric O’Flaherty once, and the Braves picked him up, just as they did Eric O’Flaherty once. As a setup man for Gwinnett, Varvaro put up a 2.90 ERA (and oddly, a 2-8 record — these things happen, in the minors) and struck out 69 in 59 innings pitched. In 24 big-league innings over two callups, he posted a 2.63 ERA and struck out almost a man an inning (23 in 24) but walked 11 and gave up three homers. The homers have not normally been a problem since he was moved to the pen, but the walks have, and limit his value. He was used mostly in low-leverage situations, often for more than just one inning, kind of like Cristhian Martinez is.
He’s got a good fastball, which averages about 93 and sometimes is a few ticks higher, and normally mixes in a curve as his second pitch though he also has a changeup. He probably needs to focus on just one as his offspeed pitch. He’s got talent, did better with the Braves than he ever did for the Mariners, and could eventually be a top reliever or at least a good middle man. If he harnesses his control. He’s 27 now, so the clock is ticking.