Spencer Turnbull made Detroit Tigers’ history against the Seattle Mariners last night, tossing the eighth no-hitter in team history. Now that he has neared the pinnacle of performance for a pitcher (only a perfect game could top his performance), some fans are calling for Turnbull to be traded. I firmly believe that there is no reason the fourth-year right-hander should be dealt.
The Case For Keeping Turnbull
The proof is in the numbers for Spencer Turnbull. He continues to improve each season and has come a long way since leading the Major Leagues in losses and Hit Batters in 2019, two statistics not to be proud of. Since then, Turnbull has proven to be a tenacious worker in the offseason, shrinking his ERA from 4.61 to 3.97 to 2.88 between 2019, 2020, and now 2021.
His walk rate spiked at 4.6/9 in 2020, but he honed in on his control this offseason and that number is down to just 2.1/9 this season, a dramatic difference that has raised his ceiling to new heights. Turnbull dealt with COVID-19 at the beginning of 2021, and while he flashed strong potential throughout his first four starts, it was clear he was still kicking off the rust.
The tide began to turn on May 13th, when he allowed one run over 6.1 innings against the Kansas City Royals. He followed up this performance with the no-no, a sure sign that Turnbull has reached midseason form. This has called for some fans to dub Turnbull as a Top 20 pitcher by using #top20turnbull. While Turnbull could likely net the Tigers a mid-level prospect, Turnbull has proven to be a Major League-level player, which the Tigers are desperate for right now.
Contributor Chris Brown dug into Detroit Tigers: Five Spencer Turnbull Trades eight months ago, and none of the return values were overwhelming, and the “Similar Trades” prospect hauls were spotty at best. There is no reason to trade away Turnbull, and more reason to give him a contract extension at the end of the season, as he has proven he could be a mainstay in the Tigers rotation as they hope to enter a competitive window with the group of young prospects.
Detroit Tigers Future Starting Rotation
If the Detroit Tigers keep Spencer Turnbull, their starting rotation could feature Matthew Boyd, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, and Turnbull. Boyd is the oldest of the group at just 30, so the potential for a dominant pitching staff for years to come is there, especially if Mize, Manning, and Skubal continue their upward projection as young players.
By not trading Spencer Turnbull, General Manager Al Avila will prove that he is ready to make moves that pave a winning path for the franchise.