Should Tigers fans take Spencer Torkelson's Triple-A resurgence seriously?

Detroit Tigers v Arizona Diamondbacks
Detroit Tigers v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages

It's been over three weeks since Spencer Torkelson was demoted to Triple-A following 54 major league games in which he struggled heavily to keep his head above .200. It was a blow for the Tigers and their 2020 first-overall pick, but it was more than necessary; Torkelson needed to get his head on straight in the minors, because the time they'd spent waiting for him to do it in the majors started to feel wasted.

In his first week back in Toledo, he acknowledged that the option was disappointing but understandable, and he reiterated his commitment to hitting the grind in Triple-A so that he could get back to the majors and be productive.

In the first half of the 18 games he's played so far with the Mud Hens, he really looked like he was starting to feel good again, batting .361 with a .998 OPS during that stretch. He started to cool down a little immediately after that, but then he came back with a vengeance on Tuesday against the Louisville Bats.

He went 3-for-4 at the plate with a walk and two home runs, the second of which was a grand slam in the fifth. He was responsible for driving in almost half of the Hens' total runs that night and scored four of them himself.

Spencer Torkelson sent a message to Tigers, but needs to prove he can hit the fastball

No doubt Torkelson was feeling himself after a night like Tuesday's, but it still might take some time for the Tigers to call him back up after such an extended struggle in the majors. They've been making do with Mark Canha at first, and Torkelson will need to show that his success is sustainable. Not only that, but he needs to be able to hit the fastball again.

Before he was sent down, he was hitting .182 with a .364 slug against fastballs, with a 22.7% whiff rate and 23.4% K rate, a far cry from his .265 average and .514 slug against them last season. Even his two homers on Tuesday came off of a slider that really missed its spot and an 81 MPH changeup.

When he can really get back to crushing anything over 95, that's most likely when he'll warrant a conversation about a recall. Until then, hopefully a night like Tuesday will help him find his mojo and his head back to a major league mentality.