There was a time when Spencer Turnbull appeared to be a future ace for the Detroit Tigers.
He had been in the midst of an excellent run encompassing the 2020 season and the beginning of 2021. Turnbull had posted a 3.46 ERA and a 1.172 WHiP over 106.2 innings over 20 starts, striking out 95 batters with 41 walks. He fired a no-hitter on May 18, 2021, the eighth in Tigers’ history. However, his possible All Star season was derailed by Tommy John surgery, costing him the rest of the year and all of 2022.
Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull worth a look
Turnbull was never able to get himself going in 2023. He missed time with a neck injury, and as he was returning, suffered an injury to his toe. Those injuries manifested in his miserable showing last year as he posted a 7.26 ERA and a 1.677 WHiP in his 31 innings, striking out 24 batters with 15 walks. One can understand why the Tigers cut him loose.
The same reasons why he was let go make Turnbull an interesting bounceback candidate. He showed the potential to be a solid piece of the rotation when he was healthy. That should theoretically be the case in 2024, especially as he is another season removed from Tommy John surgery.
He will not cost much in free agency. Turnbull only has those nine mediocre outings since July 5, 2021, making him a giant question mark. But there is the possibility that he could return to form. If so, he would be a perfect gamble for a rebuilding team or a contender looking for a cheap option for the back of the rotation. Either way, Turnbull should have plenty of options for a landing spot.
Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull is one of the more intriguing arms on the market. He is well worth a gamble.