The Detroit Tigers have recalled left-handed pitcher Matt Boyd from Triple-A Toledo, the team announced. In a corresponding move, the Tigers have placed right-handed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, the closer, on the family emergency list.
Boyd has gone 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA across three games and 16.0 innings for the Mud Hens this season. The lefty racked up 16 strikeouts, while only allowing five walks. Most importantly, Boyd did not allow a home run at the Triple-A level this year.
Rodriguez, also known as K-Rod, will miss a minimum of three games and a maximum of seven games on this emergency leave, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. Expect Tigers manager Brad Ausmus to use a combination of Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe to close games in the absence of Rodriguez.
Detroit could use Boyd as a long reliever, especially after Kyle Ryan tossed 49 pitches on Saturday to try and save a poor start by Anibal Sanchez, who made it just 2.1 innings. The Cleveland Indians won the game over the Tigers, 10-1. If the Tigers want Boyd to succeed, the 25-year-old will need to keep the ball away from the nucleus of the strike zone.
The Tigers (8-8) have been burning through their bullpen arms due to the fact that the starting pitchers, besides Jordan Zimmermann, are struggling to pitch late into the game.
The native of Washington was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, but went to college at Oregon State University and was later drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Boyd was acquired by the Tigers when Detroit shipped David Price to the Blue Jays last July. Jairo Labourt and Daniel Norris went with Boyd in the trade to the Motor City.
In 13 games (12 games started) in the major leagues last season with the Blue Jays and Tigers, Boyd went 1-6 with a 7.53 ERA. The left-hander gave up 17 home runs, 20 walks and 71 hits across 57.1 innings pitched, while striking out 43 batters. His 5.6 hits-per-nine innings marked double when he wore a major league uniform instead of a minor league uniform. During 11 games (10 games started) with just the Tigers in the 2015 season, Boyd logged a 1-4 record with a 6.57 ERA.
Detroit hopes that starting pitcher Shane Greene will be able to go deep into the game on Sunday against the Indians. If he can not, Boyd will be ready to answer the call and step on the mound.