Giving up nine runs in less than three innings of work is no way to get through the majors, Charlie Furbush.
Following the game, the Tigers announced that Furbush was being sent down to Triple-A Toledo. Given that Saturday’s outing was only Furbush’s second major league start after pitching impressively in 12 relief outings, it’s doubtul that he was demoted solely for his meltdown against the Royals. But after allowing 12 runs (seven earned) over 7 1/3 innings as a starter, something needed to change.
Perhaps the primary reason for sending Furbush to Toledo is that the Tigers won’t need a fifth starter until July 20, thanks to the All-Star break. Rather than keeping him on the shelf for 10 days, Furbush can get innings and work on throwing strikes with the Mud Hens.
It’s a bit curious that the Tigers wouldn’t just keep Furbush with the big league club and have him pitch out of the bullpen. But with the All-Star break and an off-day on July 18, the team will be off for five of the next nine days. Furbush could stay on his regular schedule and pitch July 14 when the Mud Hens come back from the Triple-A All-Star break. This might all indicate that the Tigers intend to keep Furbush in the starting rotation.
Manager Jim Leyland certainly seems encouraged by what he’s seen, Saturday’s start excepted.
“That’s a work in progress, but it’s a nice work in progress,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Furbush. “I like him a lot. He’s a good-looking young pitcher.”
Taking Furbush’s place on the roster for now is infielder Danny Worth. Worth was with the Tigers earlier in the season, getting the call up from Toledo when Scott Sizemore was traded to Oakland. He played in 17 games, batting .310 in 31 plate appearances, before being optioned back to Triple-A when Brandon Inge was activated from the disabled list.