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Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull Finally Returns Healthy But Needs To Perform Better

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Tigers' Spencer Turnbull Finally Returns Healthy But Needs To Perform Better

As part of his rehabilitation assignment, right-hander Spencer Turnbull, who hasn’t pitched for the Detroit Tigers since May 6, has completed three starts. He no longer has neck pain, but he needs to work on his performance.

The 30-year-old will make his fourth rehab start for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday. Before the organisation chooses whether to activate him for the Tigers or option him to the Mud Hens, he might need a fifth rehab start.

“In my second start, I found my really good slider,” remarked Turnbull. The best it had been in three years, it was wipeout. I was unable to find it in Toledo. I’m still attempting to understand it. I’m starting the grind again and working to increase my speed.

Turnbull has made three minor league starts with High-A West Michigan (two starts) and Triple-A Toledo (one start), totaling 813 innings with a 4.32 ERA, one walk, and seven strikeouts. Turnbull is under team control through the 2024 season.

He pitched 313 innings for Triple-A Toledo on Friday, surrendering two runs on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. His fastball had a top speed of 94.4 mph and averaged 92.1 mph.

Turnbull remarked, “The shoulder is definitely more sore this week than it was last week.” I delivered 56 pitches. It was far more tense. Each inning was trying. Toledo was a little less relaxing and West Michigan was like cruise control.

Turnbull threw 56 pitches, 33 of which were strikes, breaking down his 56 pitches as follows: 28 four-seam fastballs (50%), 9 sinkers (16%), 8 curveballs (14%), 7 sliders (13%) and 4 changeups (7%). He produced 12 called strikes with eight four-seamers, two sinkers, one curveball, and one slider, as well as five whiffs with three four-seam fastballs and two curveballs.

Four players must step up, and four players should be called up.

He is currently concentrating on strengthening his command.

Turnbull admitted, “I threw the kitchen sink at them, but I didn’t know where it was going.

Before having Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Turnbull employed his slider 24.5% of the time in the 2021 season, the last time he was in good health.

He underwent elbow surgery in 2022, missing the full season.

A.J. Hinch, the Tigers manager, indicated that secondary pitches in the strike zone will be crucial. “The secondary command becomes a little bit more significant as you move up to Triple-A. He hasn’t actually experienced that yet. The improvement in speed has been steady, and he has done a great job of retaining his ground. In his subsequent start, the command of the breaking ball and changeup will be crucial.

After Turnbull’s rehab stint is up, the Tigers might assign him to the Mud Hens. After all, before he informed the team about his neck issue, the Tigers optioned Turnbull to Triple-A Toledo owing to his 7.26 ERA, which included 15 walks and 24 strikeouts over 31 innings in seven starts.

His demotion was undone by the neck injury, which placed him on the injured list.

“Having your entire arsenal is very important at the Triple-A level or the major-league level,” Hinch said. He’ll hopefully return to pitching the amount of innings that a starting pitcher typically throws in a given game. Both of those are parallel routes to returning him to his customary starting role.

In 61 games 60 starts, Turnbull has a 12-29 record and a 4.55 ERA throughout his MLB career.

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