PITTSBURGH — Charlie Furbush of South Portland was called up Saturday by the Detroit Tigers from Triple-A Toledo.
Furbush replaces lefthanded reliever Brad Thomas, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Furbush, a 25-year-old lefthander, is expected to be used out of the bullpen by Tigers manager Jim Leyland. Furbush was 4-3 with a 2.91 earned run average at Toledo this season and leads the International League with 55 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings.
Furbush, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder, was a fourth-round draft choice of Detroit in 2007. He has enjoyed a steady rise since enrolling at Division III Saint Joseph’s College in Standish in 2004.
He dominated in two seasons under coach Will Sanborn, compiling a 17-2 record with six saves and a 2.38 ERA with 185 strikeouts in 136 1/3 innings.
After turning heads during an outstanding season in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2006, Furbush transferred to Division I Louisiana State University. There, he struck out 88 batters in 87 1/3 innings and had a 3-9 record in 2007.
Furbush has posted a 24-20 record with a 3.69 ERA in parts of four minor league seasons in the Tigers system. He has racked up 400 strikeouts in 378 1/3 innings.
He bounced back well despite missing the 2008 season after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his pitching elbow.
Detroit’s Thomas injured his left elbow while warming up in the bullpen Friday night during an eventual 10-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Leyland said a postgame examination revealed inflammation in the joint.
Thomas is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in 12 appearances this season.