The Detroit Tigers have officially kicked off 2021 Spring Training down in Lakeland, Florida, which means Tigers news will get a boost in coverage. One of the top storylines to follow with the Tigers will be the closer role and how that will be filled out.
Buck Farmer, one of the Detroit Tigers’ reliable relievers, is going to be competing for the role. However, new-hire A.J. Hinch should be cautious when evaluating Buck Farmer to be the team’s new closer as there are a few reasons to leave him where he is in a setup role.
But, before diving into Farmer, let’s take a very brief look at the closing situation. In 2020, Joe Jímenez lost his closer role to Bryan Garcia by the end of the season. However, in 2021, the job could very well be given to Gregory Soto, who is coming into camp with renewed confidence.
When it comes to Buck Farmer, he has been a solid reliever for the Tigers; the question is if he can be the reliable closer that the Tigers could definitely benefit from during the 2021 season. There is also the “surprise” possibility that the team opts to go without a “named” closer and do a closer-by-committee strategy.
The Detroit Tigers should consider Buck Farmer for the closer role as the 2021 season approaches.
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When Buck Farmer came into the big leagues, there was speculation as to what he could be for the Tigers.
He was trotted out there as a starter, but after seven years with the Tigers organization, he has settled in as a solid and reliable reliever, leaving the starting pitching days in the past.
In 2020, Farmer pitched in 23 games, totaling 21.1 innings pitched where he had a 3.80 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP for the Tigers.
But, looking further back on the last full 162-game season that the Tigers played, Farmer was a more than serviceable reliever for the Tigers.
Back in 2019, Farmer pitched in 73 games where he would accumulate 67.2 innings pitched for the Tigers boasting a 3.72 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and punching out 73 hitters in the process.
Farmer was the “eighth-inning guy” and excelled in the role. However, if you look at Farmer’s stats, he has never logged a save. He has finished off 37 games during his seven-year career but has never once logged a save.
Frankly, it seems like Farmer is someone who has a bit of a mental struggle with being that guy as a closer. He is more suited to be a setup man or someone leading up to the closer.
But if Hinch is going to weigh out all of his options before the 2021 season, Farmer better be one of the players that he evaluates for the closer role. With all due respect to Farmer, I personally believe that Gregory Soto deserves the job.
Farmer is a great pitcher for the Detroit Tigers amid this rebuild, but it seems like he is better suited to be a reliable bullpen arm rather than being trusted as the teams closer.