Tigers option Matt Boyd to Toledo
The Tigers didn’t need one last round of Spring Training starts from Shane Greene and Matt Boyd before sending one of the rotation candidates out. Detroit optioned Boyd to Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday.
The team has not announced Greene — who starts tonight against the Orioles — as its fifth starter. But barring a move to acquire another pitcher, Greene is the one starter left. While Buck Farmer remains in camp after starting Monday night against the Yankees, manager Brad Ausmus indicated earlier this week that if Farmer makes the Tigers’ Opening Day roster, he would most likely be a reliever.
The Tigers opened camp with as many as five starting candidates, including incumbent Daniel Norris and top prospect Michael Fulmer. Though Boyd spent the better part of the last two months of last season in the rotation, the 25-year-old left-hander was viewed as a relative dark horse. Thanks in part to a slider he developed late last year, he became one of the camp surprises, allowing eight earned runs on 19 hits over 17 innings in five starts.
“I feel like I went out there and showed that I can pitch in the big leagues,” said Boyd, who said the slider — which acts like a curveball — added a different dimension to his pitching arsenal.
While Greene was in mix, his biggest question to answer was health coming off a season cut short due to an aneurysm in his shoulder that was causing blood clots in his fingers.
Greene, who opened last season in the Tigers rotation and enjoyed a stellar April before struggling into midseason, not only endured this spring but thrived. The 27-year-old entered Wednesday’s start having allowed four runs on 13 hits over 13 2/3 innings with three walks and 14 strikeouts.