Detroit Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull to undergo Tommy John surgery

Turnbull will miss rest of 2021, most or all of 2022 season

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull (56) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 4, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull (56) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 4, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROITDetroit Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull will undergo Tommy John surgery, miss the remainder of this season and likely be out for most or all of the 2022 season.

Manager A.J. Hinch delivered the news Tuesday that Turnbull will undergo surgery. It typically takes pitchers a year or more to return to the mound after Tommy John surgery.

Turnbull hasn’t appeared in a game since June 4 against the Chicago White Sox, when he was pulled after four solid innings due to injury. The Tigers hadn’t announced a timetable for his return, but now the road to recovery will leak into next year.

This was shaping up to be a career season for Turnbull, who owned a 2.88 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 0.980 WHIP and l44 strikeouts through 50 innings. He threw the franchise’s first no-hitter in a decade against the Seattle Mariners back in mid-May, around the time the Tigers were really starting to turn their season around.

Since showing flashes of his potential in 2019 -- when he finished with a 3-17 record despite a 3.99 FIP and solid strikeout rate -- Turnbull has battled injuries on-and-off for two years.

He made 11 starts in the pandemic-shortened 2020, posting a 3.97 ERA, 3.49 FIP and 1.341 WHIP.

Dramatically decreasing his walk rate while maintaining his other underlying metrics allowed Turnbull to take a major step forward this season. But now, he likely won’t retake the mound until sometime around his 30th birthday in September 2022.

Turnbull is under team control until 2025.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.