The Detroit Tigers, like many other big league clubs, are preparing for rosters to expand. Per the MLB's rules, the rosters will expand from 26-man to 28-man as of September 1st, allowing room for two more bodies with the Tigers. In the case of the Tigers, it gets the pot stirring right away as to who will be coming up.
As this article from MLive hints at, Michael Pineda is a sure bet for one of the spots, but the other might just be Spencer Torkelson. The Detroit Tigers sent Torkelson down at the All-Star break and he has yet to make a return to the Tigers roster since then.
He has not exactly got the hit-train rolling with the Toledo Mud Hens at the Triple-A level, which begs the team to ask, is he ready? Bringing Torkelson back up seems like the logical move, after all, he spent the first half of the season with them, so working him back in against big-league pitching, hoping that over a stretch of time he will be able to iron things out.
However, there has to be some concern about bringing him up and seeing him struggle again. It could destroy his confidence and be a detrimental move in the long run. It's going to be a tricky decision. Let's dive into both options and see what seems like the best move for the Tigers.
Is Detroit Tigers prospect Spencer Torkelson ready for a call-up?
The Detroit Tigers are not competing and are in the running for a postseason spot. The focus now after Al Avila‘s exit is going to be on development and finishing the season on the right foot. For that reason, the Tigers will have a decision to make with Torkelson.
So, if the seemingly obvious move is to bring Torkelson back up to the big leagues. The 2022 season has not been kind to Torkelson. He's hit .197/.282/.296 with five home runs and 21 RBI for the Tigers over 264 at-bats in 83 games played for the Tigers.
Since being demoted it has not been great either. Torkelson has improved from where he was but it's still a .227/.341/.391 with four home runs with 14 RBI to his credit. It's an improvement from where he was a few years ago. However, the recent surge could get some attention warranting a promotion.
If the Tigers want to use a spot on him, it's going to be an option to see if he can settle back in. It's going to take time for the Tigers' youngster to settle in. However, it will take time. So getting him more reps at the big league level is not the worst idea.
What if Spencer Torkelson's struggles continue with a call-up?
However, some may worry that more struggles may not push him to a breakthrough but further into a hole. If that's the case, the Detroit Tigers may be looking to keep him in the minors and operate under an assumption that he can pack it in and try again in 2023.
If that's the route the Tigers choose to go, hoping things get better while he is with the Triple-A club, that leaves room for someone else to get called up. So, let's speculate on a few names the Tigers will need to consider.
Daz Cameron seems like another player who might fill that spot. While the team is not in the largest need of another outfielder, with Jonathan Schoop out injured, Willi Castro seeing more infield time is more likely, freeing up room for Cameron to come up and add some depth.
Austin Meadows may finally feel “MLB-ready” and poke his way onto the 28-man roster. Again, this is barring more setbacks and unlucky injury updates. Meadows has yet to get back on the field, but maybe he feels healthy enough to be a part of the 28-man crew.
The Tigers have options, that is certain. They could bring up another pitcher too, like a Luis Castillo or Bryan Garcia to add more depth on top of Pineda. The Tigers need to figure out if Torkelson is going to be the best option for the team moving forward.
The Tigers are going to try and play it safe with their youngsters, but this is one of those decisions that could go either way. Though, it's likely that Torkelson will be back with the big league club to see if he can shake off the issues.