Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison runs around the bases after his home win against Philadelphia Phillies, starting pitcher Nick Pivetta, in the third round of a spring training session, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo: Chris O & Meara, AP)
CLEARWATER, Fla – Spencer Turnbull achieved his best performance in his spring training debut.
With a Detroit Tigers starting rotation stain firmly in reach after Michael Fulmer was lost for the season because of an upcoming elbow ligament reconstruction operation. Turnbull threw five scoreless innings against a powerful Phillies side on Wednesday afternoon.
His outing was rich in moves inducing low contact with regular Philadelphia players, including the addition of free agent Bryce Harper, and this move was featured in seven strikeouts.
Turnbull faces one hitter more than the minimum, allowing three hits – all singles – and a walk. He had two double games behind him.
Turnbull then acknowledged that he was aware of the situation: with Fulmer put out, the Tigers are looking for a fifth starter, who should be himself or left-handed Daniel Norris.
When asked if he thought he was ready for this opportunity, Turnbull replied, "I think I'm ready."
The Tigers beat the Phillies, 3-1.
Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison (1) celebrates with Miguel Cabrera after Harrison hit the Philadelphia Phillies circuit, starting pitcher Nick Pivetta, in the third inning of a match. Spring training on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo: Chris O & Meara, AP)
More comments from Wednesday:
Turnbull should win a place
The Tigers had room to maneuver with five capable pitchers, but now that Fulmer is out, Turnbull should be their guy. In summary, he was one of their top three starting pitchers this spring and has little to prove at Triple-A Toledo. His next departure should be early next week.
More from Seidel: Fulmer hurts his belly. Bring Casey Mize?
Josh Harrison had a day. Hen gave an early punch by scoring a solo goal on the left court wall in the third inning and added a single RBI later in the game. Harrison, who will assume the role of Tigers player from the second goal and leader of the group, will hit .387 this spring.
What a throw!
JaCoby Jones, one of the best defensemen in the middle of the field due to his elite athleticism, showed a powerful arm, throwing striker Jean Segura to third base in the fourth inning. Jones also went for a walk and stole a base. He is entering a decisive year.
He said it
"I do not know what else I have to do," said Turnbull, about the competition for fifth place of the starting rotation.
Good solid game of Tigers. I imagine that Turnbull is in last place in the rotation and Daniel Norris starts the season with a lot of relief. The team still looks at him as a long-term starter.
The Tigers welcome the Astros and Third Base coach Don Kelly Thursday afternoon at the Joker Marchant stadium.
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