Inbox: Are Tigers going to shuffle rotation?

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers questions from fans

June 1st, 2017

Any chance the Tigers shuffle the rotation? Matthew Boyd and are struggling mightily, and showed he belongs in the big leagues. Move someone to the 'pen?

-- @Defendthed9n

Do you see Matthew Boyd going back to Toledo, and bringing up another starter?

-- @SFHCommissioner

The starting rotation seemed to get more questions than anything else this week, coming off a surprisingly strong spot start for Farmer, a seven-run debacle for Zimmermann and Boyd's continued struggles with hit totals. For the immediate future, though, I don't see a change.

Farmer started for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday, delivering six more stingy innings. But while he has consistently delivered for the Mud Hens, and surprised many with 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox on Saturday, I don't see him getting a full-time rotation spot. There's still uncertainty whether his future is as a starter or reliever; he's a starter this year in part because the Tigers need the depth.

The numbers on Zimmermann and Boyd have been ugly -- particularly Boyd, who has given up 18 earned runs on 36 hits over 16 innings in his last four starts. Boyd's breaking ball has flattened out, and his velocity seemed to drop a bit Wednesday. But this is the same pitcher scouts raved about in Spring Training, with some of the best stuff they'd seen from a young starter.

Boyd has a history of answering challenges every time he has seemingly hit a ceiling. I think the Tigers will give him ample opportunity to work his way through it. But if he can't give them innings -- he hasn't finished the sixth since May 10 -- he's going to put manager Brad Ausmus in a bind where the Tigers may have to make a change.

As for Zimmermann, the story hasn't changed: His arm strength and health seem fine, but the pitches haven't been there, and whatever he's throwing keeps leaving the yard. But as frustrating as it is, the Tigers just had a big-contract veteran starter buried in their bullpen in . They don't want to do that again if they can help it. Zimmermann will keep working.

One Mud Hens pitcher to keep an eye on is Sanchez. His assignment to Toledo isn't indefinite; at some point, once his pitch count is stretched out, the Tigers are going to have to do something with him. If he gets back to a workable form, and Zimmermann and/or Boyd are still struggling, one decision could set up another.

Why is on the MLB team if he isn't going to play? They all struggle at the plate and he's better on defense

-- @LoneRanger_SID

Jones is on the Major League roster because of injuries. Otherwise, he'd be getting regular at-bats in Toledo. He's 1-for-9 with six strikeouts since his recall, and the Tigers let Alex Presley bat against a lefty reliever () Wednesday rather than pinch-hit with Jones. If returns as expected from the disabled list next week, Jones could go back to the Minors.

Is there a status update?

-- @meckls16

Adduci is still on the 10-day DL, and working back slowly. Oblique strains are tricky, and they're treating it carefully out of fear of reaggravating it.

What's your favorite Kansas City BBQ place?

-- @GeurtsNathan

This might be a Kansas City BBQ hot take, but I like Q39 a lot. Lots of good stuff, and the apple coleslaw is really good. I try to get there for lunch once a trip.