Detroit Tigers need Buck Farmer in starting rotation

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Jun 7, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Buck Farmer (45) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Buck Farmer (45) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers fans saw Buck Farmer turn in another strong outing on Wednesday, as he shut down the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The starter needs to be in Detroit’s rotation moving forward.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Buck Farmer has been nothing short of excellent in his first two starts with the team during the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old limited the Chicago White Sox to three hits in 6.1 innings pitched, walking two while punching out 11.

Farmer continued to post zeroes in his second start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday.

He surrendered just a walk and three hits compared to five strikeouts in 6.2 frames of work.

Moving forward, Farmer needs to be a part of the Detroit Tigers rotation.

The obvious argument here is that the former second-round pick should keep his spot because of a pair of strong starts.

That has something to do with it. But the Tigers also need Farmer to stay in the Majors as a starter because of the dearth of other options.

Current rotation

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Detroit hasn’t had the best time of things in the starting rotation this year.

Per usual, Michael Fulmer has been excellent. However, that’s about it in terms of consistency.

Justin Verlander has turned in a number of ace-like outings, but he’s also had a few starts where’s he’s struggled.

Elsewhere, Daniel Norris has pitched into the seventh inning just twice, often seeing his pitch count rise quickly in the early innings of games.

Meanwhile, Matt Boyd is in Toledo after notching a 5.05 xFIP in 55.1 innings spanning 11 starts.

There’s also Jordan Zimmermann, who has looked better as of late, but still owns an unsightly 6.24 FIP on the campaign.

So yeah, help is needed.

Other internal options

Outside of Farmer, it probably isn’t coming from the minor league.

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Boyd is with the Mud Hens figuring things out, while top starting prospects Beau Burrows and Tyler Alexander are still a few years away from making an impact.

Drew VerHagen is on the 40-man roster and is currently with Boyd in Toledo. He has a respectable 4.29 ERA in 11 starts for the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate. However, those starts have been a bit of a mixed bag.

On one hand, VerHagen has surrendered just one run in his last 16.1 innings.

On the other hand, he’s had outings where he’s posted the following stats:

  • 4.0 innings pitched, 10 hits, 10 earned runs and three walks allowed against just one strikeout.
  • 5.2 innings pitched, eight hits, five earned runs and five walks allowed. Also no strikeouts.
  • 5.0 innings pitched, six hits, six earned runs and a walk allowed compared to four strikeouts.

In other developments, Anibal Sanchez has allowed 13 hits, seven earned runs, four walks, and three home runs in 10.2 frames for Toledo.

William Cuevas, who previously served as a depth piece, has since been designated for assignment and is no longer with the organization.

Next: The CF Situation

So yes, Buck Farmer’s recent success will certainly help him stay in the Detroit Tigers rotation. However, the team also needs him to stick as a starter in the Majors given the lack of options elsewhere in the organization.

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