Detroit Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull had a promising start against the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday, despite the rough sixth inning. Turnbull, who missed the 2022 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, relied heavily on his four-seam fastball and did not use his best pitch, the slider. Whether it was the colder weather or still part of his recovery, Turnbull's inability to command the strike zone in the sixth inning ultimately was his undoing.
Why it Matters:
Turnbull's performance against the Guardians demonstrates his resilience and determination to improve his game despite missing a season of play. And, though the results were a mixed bag yesterday, Turnbull's comeback is not only an encouraging sign for the Tigers but also for fans who had been waiting to see him back on the mound.
Spencer Turnbull By the Numbers:
- Turnbull pitched 5⅓ innings, throwing 52 of 82 pitches for strikes
- He allowed three runs on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts
- He tossed 45 four-seam fastballs (55%), 12 changeups (15%), 11 sliders (13%), seven sinkers (9%), and seven curveballs (9%)
- His fastball averaged 93.2 mph
- Turnbull's four-seam fastball generated six of his seven whiffs and nine of his 15 called strikes
- Turnbull did not get any whiffs with his slider
What They're Saying:
“It's definitely a process, and I'm not where I want to be yet. It's definitely a different type of patience. There's a lot of frustration because I'm such a perfectionist and have such high expectations of myself. But I also have to realize my body can only do what it can do. It's getting better.” – Spencer Turnbull
“I was pretty encouraged. I thought the stuff came out pretty good early. … Good outing for him. I know he's going to be frustrated because of the way it ended, but I thought it was an encouraging step forward in only his fourth start.” – Tigers manager A.J. Hinch
The Bottom Line:
Turnbull's performance against the Guardians is a good sign for the Tigers, as he continues to recover and work his way back to his top form. Although the rough sixth inning may have been frustrating, Turnbull showed resilience and determination to keep going. Fans can look forward to seeing more from him in future games and hopefully, the results will be there as well.