As the final roster begins to take shape, the Detroit Tigers announced that Matt Boyd has been optioned to Triple-A Toldeo on Wednesday afternoon. Boyd was a candidate to take the spot in the rotation left open while Daniel Norris recovers from his injury, but instead it appears the Shane Greene has won the job. Boyd has pitched 17 innings this spring with a 4.24 ERA and 1.41 WHIP.
After making his major league debut last season with Toronto, Boyd joined the Tigers organization in the trade that sent David Price to the Blue Jays. He pitched in both Toledo and Detroit last season, logging 50 2/3 innings with the Tigers. Boyd struggled down the stretch, recording a 6.57 ERA and 1.48 WHIP during his time in Detroit.
Boyd has seen mixed results this spring, and seemed to be behind in the race to grab the fifth rotation spot. He appeared frustrated with his latest start when talking to Anthony Fenetch of the Detroit Free Press. Depending on how he pitches in Toldeo, there is still a chance that Boyd may see time in Detroit this year. Injuries are sure to come over the course of the season, and Boyd will likely be one of the first names to be considered.
Meanwhile, it looks like Greene will again begin the year in the Tigers' starting rotation. Greene has enjoyed a solid spring, and looked on track to grab at least a bullpen spot on the 25-man roster. His first season in Detroit was disappointing with a 6.88 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, but he will have an opportunity for redemption to start the season.
In other news, the Tigers also announced that they signed reliever Bobby Parnell to a minor league deal. Parnell, a 31-year-old righthander who starred as the New York Mets' closer in 2012 and 2013, has an 8.68 ERA and 2.46 WHIP in 9 1/3 innings with Detroit this spring. The Tigers are hoping that a stint with Triple-A Toledo can help Parnell find his command. Once capable of reaching triple digits with his fastball, Parnell has the potential to be an impact arm in the back of the bullpen if he regains his prior form.
Sending Boyd to the minors leaves the Tigers with 33 players remaining in major league camp. They need to trim the roster to 25 before Sunday afternoon, but at least five players -- Cameron Maybin, Daniel Norris, Alex Wilson, Blaine Hardy, Jeff Ferrell -- are expected to open the season on the disabled list. The last few roster battles will come down to the bullpen, where players like Buck Farmer, Kyle Ryan, Lendy Castillo, and Logan Kensing are competing for the final few spots.