The Tigers have announced the placement of right-hander Spencer Turnbull on the 15-day injured list retroactive to May 7 with neck discomfort. Like Evan Woodbury of MLive explains, Turnbull was optioned to Triple-A, but the move means his option has been revoked and he will spend time in the major leagues at IL. If Turnbull were to report the injury at Triple-A, he would go to minor league IL and not earn service time, but his service time clock would continue as long as he pitches in Major League IL.
Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic reports that Turnbull met with president of baseball operations Scott Harris, manager AJ Hinch and pitching coach Chris Fetter after his last start when the Tigers optioned him back to Triple-A Toledo. “After Spencer left the room, I immediately got a call from him where he disclosed some neck discomfort,” Harris said. “As soon as we heard that, we made an appointment for him with our doctor. We also called a specialist out of state. We asked those doctors to discuss what’s going on with his neck. They confirmed the injury and we placed him on the injured list as of Sunday.”
Turnbull is two seasons away from free agency, but if he spends more than 35 days in the minor leagues, he will have his free agency year pushed back by one season. Once a promising young member of the Tigers rotation, Turnbull struggled in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, posting a 7.26 ERA in seven starts. That figure comes with a 16.6% strikeout rate and a 10.3% walk rate.
Just two years ago, Turnbull tossed nine starts of 2.88 ERA ball and appeared on the verge of a breakout, but after Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the entire 2022 season, it looks like he won’t find his groove just yet. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up, and he’s given up a lot more hard contact this year than he did two seasons ago.
As this deal replaces Turnbull being elected for five days, there is no corresponding move and it’s also worth noting that Turnbull’s IL placement is retroactive to May 7, so he could be back in just a few days :