With Jordan Zimmermann possibly sidelined by a groin strain, lefty Matt Boyd is on standby in Toledo, ready to leap into the fray, according to Tigers prospect writer Emily Waldron:
Previously scheduled Triple-A Toledo starter Matt Boyd has been scratched from today's game. Being told he's packing. #MiLB— Emily Waldon (@wefoundwaldo2) May 26, 2016
Boyd is a 25 year old starter who Detroit acquired from the Blue Jays last year in the David Price trade. He struggled greatly in 10 starts after the deal, allowing a 6.57 ERA in 50.2 innings. He also has one appearance in 2016, 4.2 scoreless innings in a mop-up role a month ago.
At Toledo, he’s been on fire, however, allowing 14 runs in 48 innings, with 41 strikeouts. His 2.06 ERA is slightly misleading, but there’s little doubt that he’s the best option right now for a club that’s tied for 11th in quality starts. Fellow prospect Daniel Norris would also be a possibility, but the Tigers seem poised to give Boyd the first crack at a spot start. Boyd has a pretty standard repertoire of fastball, change, slider, and a curve that he occasionally mixes in, and usually sits around 91-92 mph with his fastball.
If Zimmermann can’t go, it would be a blow to the Tigers, who sit at 23-23 and in 4th place in the American League Central. Manager Brad Ausmus is under fire, and the club is 12th in runs allowed and strikeouts in the AL, and 13th in ERA. So far, it’s been Verlander and Zimmermann and three days of disastermen (I’m working on that; it’s really rough). 23 year old Michael Fulmer has struggled to limit homers and has a 5.13 ERA, but has been striking batters out at a filthy rate. Mike Pelfrey has been beyond awful and Anibal Sanchez has an ERA over 6.00.
But the good news is that the Tigers are only three games back of the White Sox in the tightly bunched AL Central. Perhaps with a good start or two, Boyd can help the Tigers start to plug these black holes before their entire season goes irredeemably pear-shaped.