In Baseball America's prospect rankings of the Detroit Tigers, the name Charlie Furbush pops up exactly once -- in the attached chat between fans and writers of BA. Furbush, who did not appear on the Top 10, as well as any list of the best tools or as a member of the projected 2014 roster, is a 25-year-old who towers at 6-foot-5.
Furbush doesn't have a wicked fastball, and relies on deception, not stuff. In other words, this guy doesn't have a 99-mph heater. What he does have, however, did allow him to strike out 183 batters in 159 innings across high-Class A, Double-A and Triple-A. Overall, he had a 4.25 ERA while walking a reasonable 40 batters. He did run into trouble at Triple-A (three terrible starts contributed to a 6.29 ERA over nine starts) and seems likely to return to the rotation at that level, but that doesn't faze GM Dave Dombrowski.
"He's somebody we like a great deal," Dombrowski told the Detroit Free Press. "Last year, he matured, got himself in real good shape, started to grow up, put up some tremendous numbers for us."
Could Furbush win a spot in the Tigers' rotation?
It's possible. The left-hander (bonus points) isn't likely to win a spot in the rotation as it is largely settled: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Phil Coke and Brad Penny. But what about the inevitable injuries that strike? Dombrowski said Furbush could fill whatever vacancy appears. Furbush was added to the 40-man roster in November, so that only greases the skids toward the majors as he will already burn an option and be easily available for a call up.
Here's rooting for Furbush to make the majors -- it's not every day you get someone with a last name quite like Furbush.
-- Evan Brunell