Detroit Tigers: Spencer Turnbull to finally join the starting rotation

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers are finally going to see Spencer Turnbull make a start for the organization in 2021. Turnbull is a late arrival to the team due to a COVID-19 positive test that kept him on the sidelines through the end of Spring Training.

With starting pitcher Julio Teheran being sidelined recently, the Detroit Tigers will be more than happy to bring Turnbull into the rotation. He was one of the Tigers’ better arms in the past few seasons, and with the new pitching coach, Turnbull should be able to settle in once again.

Turnbull may have been at the alternate training site, but now he will rejoin the team and his pitching coach, Chris Fetter. It’s been pretty well advertised that the pitching staff enjoys Fetter’s presence and brings an exciting new approach to the table, one that will benefit Turnbull a lot.

There have been some troubles with Turnbull, who has had some mental issues on the mound. By mental issue, I mean confidence and tempo things that can be detrimental to a pitcher who is locked in on the mound.

Turnbull has been righting the ship, working on being dominant on the mound; the absence to start the 2021 season did not help that. But according to Dana Gauruder of the Detroit Free Press, Turnbull will make his debut tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull will make his 2021 season after a COVID-19 absence.

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The “corresponding move” in the rotation with Turnbull joining the team is an expansion to a six-man rotation.

However, Tarik Skubal’s rough start to the 2021 season means Turnbull will edge him out for a spot in the rotation for the time being.

Turnbull is looking to hit the ground running in 2021, and it all starts against a Pittsburgh Pirates team that is also in a rebuild like the Tigers organization.

Turnbull had a pretty decent season in 2020, and he is looking to keep getting better in his fourth season in the big leagues.

In 2020, Turnbull made 11 starts for the Tigers, where he totaled 56.2 innings pitched.

He managed a 3.97 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP, and he punched out 51 opposing hitters. The Tigers are going to hope to see a similar performance out of the right-hander in 2021.

This first start may not be some seven-inning shut-out type day. But if Turnbull can string together a solid outing, locating his pitches well, tallying a few whiffs, and inducing solid contact, there is a lot to like.

Nonetheless, it will be positive to have Turnbull back in the Tigers rotation after his absence to start the 2021 season. In an ideal world, he can get back to work and post solid numbers being exceptional on the mound to give Tigers fans another arm to be excited about during this rebuild.

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Best of luck to Turnbull as he makes his 2021 season debut against the Pirates this week.