Detroit Tigers add Buck Farmer from Triple-A Toledo because ‘he’s pitched his way back’

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers needed pitching help.

Left-hander Matthew Boyd offered up a solution: He told manager AJ Hinch he could move up a day — to his initial Sunday slot — rather than having his start pushed back to Monday. The Tigers wanted to give Boyd and the rest of the starting rotation an extra day to rest, but then they had to use five pitchers and two position players in Saturday’s 15-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

“Once we put a plan in place and got these guys physically mapped out on a schedule, I don’t think it’s good for health or mental preparation to alter that,” Hinch said Sunday morning. “That’s why we made the move to bring up an extra pitcher.”

With Boyd out of the picture, the Tigers turned to right-handed reliever Kyle Funkhouser to start Sunday’s series finale with the White Sox, a bullpen-only game. They called up righty reliever Buck Farmer — adding him back to the 40-man roster — from Triple-A Toledo for extra help.

“He’s a fresh arm and has been on a nice little run,” Hinch said about Farmer. “The last three or four outings have been very good. I know he’s going to throw strikes. I know he can log some pitches. Hopefully, he can catch that rhythm and timing that he had in Triple-A and bring it to the big leagues and not try to do too much in his return up here.”

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Farmer, 30, was designated for assignment May 7. After clearing waivers, he was sent to Toledo, where he has pitched for the Mud Hens.

He tossed 10⅔ innings across 12 outings for the Tigers earlier this season. He posted a 12.66 ERA, nine walks and 10 strikeouts. His poor results forced the organization to demote him. Not even his veteran status — eight MLB seasons — could save him.

MORE ABOUT FARMER: How Buck Farmer is handling ‘feeling of failure’ in Triple-A Toledo

But the Tigers never forgot about Farmer.

They always assumed he could find his way back.

“We hadn’t lost sight of him when we sent him down,” Hinch said. “We had a couple roster moves we had to make in order to skip over him a little bit with some easier transactions, but he’s pitched his way back to being a factor for us.”

For the Mud Hens, Farmer had a 3.97 ERA in 11⅓ innings over nine appearances. He walked four batters and struck out seven. Since the beginning of June, he has pitched 6⅓ scoreless innings in a row, allowing three hits without conceding a walk through four outings.

To make room for Farmer on the active roster, righty reliever Beau Burrows was sent down to Toledo. He allowed four runs on two hits and two walks, with three strikeouts, in Saturday’s loss. He pitched 1⅔ innings before departing with an illness.

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The Tigers did not need to remove a player from the 40-man roster because third baseman Jeimer Candelario is on the injured list for COVID-19 intake protocols in his return from the bereavement list. He had to travel home to the Dominican Republic for a family matter.

Once Candelario is activated, the Tigers must make a roster move.

Schoop scratched

For the fourth time this season, infielder Jonathan Schoop is not in the starting lineup.

Schoop, 29, was slated to play first base Sunday and hit second, but was scratched with left hand soreness. He was hit in the hand Saturday by a 97 mph fastball from White Sox starter Dylan Cease in the third inning but stayed in the game.

The Tigers adjusted the lineup to feature rookie center fielder Daz Cameron in Schoop’s No. 2 spot in the batting order. Harold Castro took over the duties at first base and hit ninth because he struggles against left-handed pitching. (The White Sox started lefty Carlos Rodon.)

Across 61 games, Schoop is hitting .262 with eight doubles, one triple, 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. He has 17 walks compared to 56 strikeouts and a .317 on-base percentage.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter

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