The implosion of the Detroit Tigers – David Schoenfield, ESPN
Who would you rather have? David Price … or Doug Fister, Austin Jackson, Drew Smyly, Jhonny Peralta and Joaquin Benoit? I know that’s a little unfair to Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski since those players weren’t all involved in the same transactions, but it’s related to this point: For the past four seasons, the Tigers have been the ultimate stars and scrubs team, top heavy in big-name performers who have delivered some monster seasons but a team that has lacked depth and won three consecutive division titles despite some obvious holes.
It is a valid point, but a lot of rosters change from year to year, the Tigers no different. However I do not think the transactions are as bad as Schoenfield is implying, but it has been the perfect storm of injuries and underachieving. The Royals are the hot team right now and everyone is quick to throw dirt on a previous (divisional) champion, but as we pointed out yesterday, pennants are not won or lost in August. Remember the disarray that was the 2012 team? In August of that year, no one expected them to play in the postseason, let alone go to the World Series.
Young starters and a burnt-up bullpen make for a bad combination. But that’s where the Tigers find themselves right now. Robbie Ray, who has three major-league starts, takes the hill Tuesday night in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. Buck Farmer, who has made two starts above the Single-A level, goes Wednesday.
With two rookie starters pitching back-to-back, that battered bullpen is about to get creamed. Even if Ray and Farmer pitch well, no one can honestly think they will go deep into the game, especially Farmer. That off-day on Monday can not come soon enough for the Detroit Tigers.
1. His first name isn’t really “Buck”
His full name is George Runie Farmer.
2. He has made just two starts above the Single-A level
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday night that the Tigers recently moved Farmer to Double-A to better prepare him for a situation like this one.
The Tigers don’t have a ton of depth when it comes to starting pitchers at Triple-A Toledo, so they wanted to get Farmer some experience above Single-A just in case.
Farmer is scheduled to make just one start, but he could find himself in the rotation for some time should Justin Verlander (right shoulder soreness) need a stint on the disabled list.
3. His slider is said to be improving
According to MLB.com, Farmer throws his fastball at 92 to 94 mph and has a slider that has become more consistent.
“He has made some progress as well, increasing Farmer’s chances of developing into a No. 3 or No. 4 starter,” the MLB.com scouting report reads. “He does a good job of throwing strikes and keeping the ball down in the zone, which helps his cause.”
Farmer has struck out 127 and walked 28 in 115 2/3 innings this season for Single-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie.
4. He’s a ‘good ole southern boy’
Farmer’s Twitter bio reads as follows: “A good ole southern boy! Pitcher in the Detroit Tiger Org. and avid hunter. Just living the dream!”
5. He once struck out 22 batters in a game
According to the Georgia Tech website, Farmer struck out 22 batters for Rockdale High School (Conyers, Ga.) in a 2008 game against Dacula High School.
If he somehow gets the Tigers a win, a much, much-needed victory, I don’t give a buck who he is or where he’s been. See what I did there? Some much-needed–and poorly executed–levity to calm the nerves of Detroit “panic” City.