1B Spencer Torkelson
Earlier in the season, I was very much against the idea of sending Tork down to Triple-A Toledo. I thought there wasn’t anything he could learn down there that he can’t learn in the big leagues. But now, I’m not sure the Detroit Tigers have a choice. He may have forced their hand.
Torkelson currently has a slash line of .178/.277/.283 with a .560 OPS and a -1.3 WAR. He looks completely lost at the plate right now. He looks like he’s just up there guessing, watching fastballs down the middle go by at an alarming rate.
There’s no question Tork has a great eye. He’s a very disciplined hitter. But he’s been too disciplined. He needs to be much more aggressive. The Tigers didn’t draft him No. 1 overall in 2020 to take walks. They expected him to rake.
Whenever he does make contact, he usually hits the ball hard, and he doesn’t chase a whole lot, again speaking to his advanced plate discipline, but he’s pretty much an automatic out at the plate right now.
The one argument I can see for keeping him up here is his defense, and man has it been spectacular. He can make pretty much any play, and he can pick it with the best of them. He’s saved Javier Baez from numerous throwing errors over the course of the season. It’s been really nice having an athlete over there.
But it’s clear that Tork needs a mental reset. The Detroit Tigers should send him down to Toledo— just for a couple weeks. Get him some confidence. Let him experience crushing the ever loving daylight out of a baseball again. Harold Castro and others can split time at first base in the meantime.
This would be a tough pill for Tigers fans to swallow, but it may be the right move going forward.