Detroit Tigers History

Spencer Torkelson and the Worst Debuts in Detroit Tigers History

Mar 17, 2021 - Spencer Torkelson hits a foul ball. Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2021 - Spencer Torkelson hits a foul ball. Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /
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Worst Detroit Tigers Debut Number 6 – Ronny Rodríguez

Detroit Tigers
Aug 31, 2019 – First baseman Ronny Rodriguez hits his second home run of the game against the Minnesota Twins: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Tigers were historically bad in 2018 and 2019, and Ronny Rodríguez actually brought an element of entertainment and joy to otherwise dismal seasons. He was capable of hitting the ball very hard, he had above-average speed, and he could play all over the field.

Unfortunately, Rodríguez didn’t hit the ball nearly enough, he never walked, he didn’t use his speed well on the bases, and he played poor defense. His 2018 batting line of .220/.256/.335 was good for a 57 OPS+ and he managed to hit into 7 double plays in just 206 plate appearances. The end result was a -1.4 bWAR season, tied for the worst rookie year in Detroit Tigers history.

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