Is there a chance Spencer Torkelson doesn't make the Detroit Tigers 2023 Opening Day roster?
Spencer Torkelson has gotten off to a rough start in each of the last two spring trainings for the Detroit Tigers, and we all know how the 2022 season went for him. The hope is that he could make some adjustments this offseason and be the player everyone though he would be in 2023. So far in spring training, it's been more of the same.
Tork is once again off to a rough start, going just 1-for-14 in five games so far this spring. That one hit was a single off a change-up. He has struck out five times. He has hit some balls hard, including a couple to the warning track, but overall he looks like the same guy.
It's worth noting that 14 at-bats in spring training is nothing to take too seriously, but you can't help but wonder if Torkelson ends up in Triple-A to start the 2023 season, especially with how well Tyler Nevin has hit to begin spring training.
In a year in which the Tigers aren't likely to compete, it wouldn't hurt to try it. He has options left, whereas Nevin does not. The Tigers really don't have anybody other than Tork and Jonathan Schoop that has experience playing first base. Nevin is pretty much the only one that does.
One thing Torkelson does need is time and at-bats. He'll probably get only around 50 this spring. Will that be enough for him to get into a groove and find his swing again? That doesn't seem likely at the moment.
If he still hasn't figured it out by the end of spring, and Nevin is still hitting, it's going to be hard for the Detroit Tigers to take Tork north and cut Nevin, especially since again, Tork has minor league options and Nevin does not. And as Rogelio Castillo from Woodward Sports notes, the Tigers can't afford to wait for Torkelson to figure things out if they want to be competitive. They have to take the best 26 players to Tampa on March 30.
We got a long way to go in spring training. It's March 4 as of writing this. This article could be rendered invalid by next week. But as of now, Spencer Torkelson could very well be on the outside looking in when it comes to the Opening Day roster. I would love nothing more to be proven wrong here as the spring goes along. We'll just have to wait and see.