Farmer optioned to Toledo, Dolis to minor-league camp

The Tigers bullpen competition is down two more contestants. Granted, Buck Farmer and Rafael Dolis looked like they were on the outside looking in, especially in recent days. But the latest round of cuts from Tigers camp provides a little more clarity on the competition.

Farmer will go back to starting pitching duty, heading to Triple-A Toledo, where he made two starts late last season. He also made just two starts at Double-A Erie, giving rise to the thought that he might go back to the SeaWolves to get more seasoning. However, the Tigers are going to give him a push. That decision came from the front office, not from manager Brad Ausmus or his staff.

“We think he has a very bright future,” Ausmus said of the 24-year-old. “He’s quite a bit ahead of schedule, if you look at his career path.”

Farmer joins Kyle Lobstein, Drew VerHagen, Tim Melville and Thad Weber in a potential Mud Hens rotation. The bullpen has enough depth that some guys will either have to be dropped or sent back to Erie.

Dolis figures to head to the Hen pen. The 27-year-old right-hander gave up seven runs on nine hits over 8 1/3 innings with three walks and seven strikeouts, but showed power stuff.

“He actually has great stuff,” Ausmus said. “He has a lot of movement on his fastball. He throws in the mid-90s with a good split. We were really considering him for a while.”

With Farmer and Dolis out, the Tigers are down to 10 relievers in camp for a seven-man bullpen, including six right-handers for what will likely be five spots: Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, Al Alburquerque, Bruce Rondon, Joba Chamberlain and Angel Nesbitt. Nathan, Soria and Alburquerque are safe. Chamberlain should be, though he has struggled this spring. If Rondon is healthy and gets enough innings, he should be there, leaving Nesbitt as the odd man out.

Do the math, and that leaves four lefty relievers for two spots. Tom Gorzelanny, despite his spring, is believed to be in, leaving Ian Krol, Kyle Ryan and Blaine Hardy competing for the other role.

8 Comments

wow thats quite the assembly of relievers. bats better not go cold for days on end this season. reminds me of the children’s story: the 3 little pigs. Dave can’t seem to build a pen out of bricks no matter how hard he “tries”.

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” I asked Ausmus if there was a competition now for closer role. He shook his head no. Still Nathan”
He is unable to go back to back. Great

Nathan is done. Cut and dried.
Better hope Rondon Soria and Nesbitt are up for it.
Buck Farmer back to being a starter. i would expect him replacing Simon before the end of summer.

Spring Training: (Ausmus doesn look at the numbers)—I guess we should just ignore the fact that Nathan has given up 2 runs every 3 innings while Soria gives up ZERO for the whole of March

If Ausmus is going to be successful as a manager for the Detroit Tigers he will have to ubstukk a separation of power with his general manager.
Soria says stuff like. “I’m not excited about (not being a closer), but being a setup man is not that different,” Soria said. “I love this game and I love it anywhere I pitch.”
Dollars to donuts you will never ever hear Ol’ Chinflick be so gracious. I t will be something about a “dead arm”, a bleeding finger or the fans..
Brad is having trouble with putting the letter “C” in front of Nathan’s present role in the bullpen.

Ausmus is being far too diplomatic. He is not negotiating a treaty in the Gaza Strip, he is responisble for providing his team with a 9th inning insurance policy.

I’d be very surprised if Nathan lost the job in spring training. Once the season begins, maybe so. I don’t have any faith in him either, but they’ll try him in April.

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