DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers will be without setup man Buck Farmer for at least the next 10 days as he hits the injured list with a left groin strain.
Farmer was placed on the 10-day IL Monday after pitching a scoreless eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday to help secure the weekend sweep.
Of Farmer’s seven appearances so far this season, six have been scoreless innings in which he allowed a total of just two walks and one hit allowed. He’s only struck out one batter all season, but he’s been extremely reliable in the eighth inning for a second straight year.
Farmer had his only bad outing of the season Friday, when he allowed three hits, a walk and two earned runs against the Pirates while only recording one out. That came after the Tigers had a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals canceled and Farmer hadn’t pitched in seven days.
The bullpen has been a surprising strength for the Tigers this season, with Farmer, Gregory Soto and Jose Cisnero locking down the late innings en route to closer Joe Jimenez.
With 35 games -- including two doubleheaders and two off-days -- scheduled for the Tigers in the next 35 days, the team’s bullpen depth will be tested, especially if Farmer misses an extended period of time.
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He was also considered a possible trade chip at the deadline if the Tigers weren’t in contention, but this injury puts that in jeopardy because the deadline is just three weeks away.
In a corresponding move, the Tigers called up long reliever Beau Burrows, who made his MLB debut July 27 against the Kansas City Royals.
Burrows allowed three hits, a walk, a hit by pitch and three earned runs in 2.1 innings of work without striking out a batter. The Royals hit two home runs and a double.
Detroit is 8-5 after 13 games against teams with losing records to start the season. Monday kicks off a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox, the toughest opponent so far.