HOUSTON -- Buck Farmer was optioned to Triple-A Toledo following the Detroit Tigers' 1-0 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night, with fellow Tigers reliever Alex Wilson headed back to rejoin the big club on Saturday after completing his minor league rehab assignment.
Ironically, Farmer’s demotion came following what was arguably his best performance to date of this 2016 season after he threw two scoreless innings and struck out three after replacing Mike Pelfrey on the mound in the seventh inning.
The outing complicated the decision for the team, manager Brad Ausmus admitted.
“It caused some more discussion, because he pitched well, but the truth is he probably wouldn’t be able to pitch tomorrow. He threw two innings today, maybe you could squeeze an inning out of him tomorrow,” Ausmus said.
The plan moving forward is to have the 25-year-old Farmer, who has yielded just two runs in 5 1/3 innings over three games, to stretch out as a starter down in Toledo. Based on the team’s needs in the future, he could return to the Tigers as either a starter or a reliever.
“It’ll help if they need a starter or a reliever down the stretch,” Farmer said of what he was told. “I’ve done both and it’s pretty much, keep working.”
Developmentally, the Tigers like the idea of having him work as a starter in Toledo; meanwhile, he provides the organization some versatility and depth depending on what happens down the road.
One way or another, Ausmus predicted that Farmer will be back with the team before the season is over.
“I think we’ll see him again this year,” Ausmus said. “That’s the best I’ve seen him.”