The Tigers announced this morning they’ve selected the contract of Buck Farmer. Beau Burrows was optioned to Triple-A Toledo last night to clear active roster space. Jeimer Candelario was placed on the COVID-19 injured list yesterday while he goes through intake protocols after going on bereavement leave. That temporarily opens a 40-man roster spot for Farmer, but Detroit will need to make another 40-man move once Candelario clears the intake process.
Farmer returns to Detroit, where he’s logged big league action in every season since 2014. The right-hander was a durable and generally productive middle reliever from 2018-20, a stretch in which he tossed 158 1/3 innings of 3.92 ERA/4.20 FIP ball. His strikeout, walk and groundball rates were all just worse than league average, but his ability to soak up decent innings out of the bullpen made him a fairly valuable part of the Detroit pitching staff.
The 2021 season began in nightmarish fashion for the 30-year-old, though. In 10 2/3 frames, Farmer coughed up fifteen runs on as many hits, walking nine batters while striking out ten. Between his huge spike in walks and massive drop in grounders, the Tigers felt they could no longer keep him on the active roster. Detroit designated Farmer, who is out of minor league option years, for assignment and passed him through waivers last month. He’s since tossed 11 1/3 relief innings with Toledo, allowing five runs with a 7:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Since Farmer is out of options, the Tigers will need to carry him on the active roster from this point forward or again designate him for assignment.