Well it’s been a whirlwind of injuries and roster decisions this past week, unfortunately. The Tigers went 2-4 since last Sunday, lost Spencer Turnbull and Michael Fulmer, got Jose Ureña back, and finally designated JaCoby Jones for assignment. Now they return home for a series with the Seattle Mariners starting Tuesday, and then welcome in the Chicago White Sox for more good times.
No-no memories with Spencer Turnbull
It’s only been a few weeks, but a lot has happened since Spencer Turnbull threw a no-hitter back on May 18th. A couple of solid starts, getting pulled early Friday night, and now a stint on the injured list with the dreaded forearm strain. May it be a minor one as seems indicated.
Meanwhile, the Tigers had Turnbull and his catcher that night—and noted dinger aficianado—Eric Haase sit down to record their thought for posterity. A no-hitter always comes with key moments and a couple of standout memories, so this is worth a look.
AJ Hinch is doing it all for the Tigers
In case you were feeling like Al Avila deserves a ton of credit for the Robbie Grossman trade, Cody Stavenhagen’s recent article has some cold water for that idea. Of course, the best free agent signing in recent Tigers memory was A.J. Hinch’s idea. Turns out, he and Grossman have a long history, and Hinch has always kept an eye on him since. Grossman played for the 2015 Houston Astros under Hinch as he tried to break into the league as a full-time player. The veteran outfielder had struggled a bit recently, but overall has been a huge boon to the 2021 Detroit Tigers. We’ll continue to hope Hinch has final approval on all deals going forward.
Jason Foley gets the call
Hard-throwing right hander Jason Foley had a tough road to the major leagues. Plucked from an out of the way college, he had Tommy John surgery just when his prospect stock was rising. Now recovered and better than ever, Foley made his major league debut on Sunday. Of course, Toledo Mud Hens manager Tom Prince and his staff couldn’t help but mess with him a bit before giving him the news.
As it turned out, it was a fairly eventful debut, as Foley hit two batters yet managed to escape with a scoreless inning against the White Sox.
We’re rubber, you’re glue
The national media suddenly seems to smell a giant scandal in baseball’s long-time practice of doctoring the ball for better grip. Sports Illustrated went with the low-key headline, “This should be the biggest scandal in sports,” for their headline, for example. As we guessed back in January, the league once again has itself a real problem via the varying sets of written and unwritten rules, codes, and vague general guidelines by which players play and officials enforce the ruleset.
In fairness, recent reports this year have indicated that teams are going as far as hiring chemists to come up with the stickiest gunk possible for their pitchers to use. No one has ever minded the sunscreen and rosin paradigm much, but the levels to which this has gone as spin has become commoditized over the past half decade really do seem out of bounds. The league is apparently close to finalizing new rules regarding the practice. Hopefully they get it right.
And of course, Trevor Bauer continues to be at the center of this. The guy who first made noise about it in complaining about Gerrit Cole and other Astros pitchers, now finds himself high atop the suspect list.
They also tried to come for deGoat last night, and his catchers were not having it.
As he usually does, Nick Castellanos has some fun opinions.
Despite the return of fans to MLB ballparks this season, things certainly haven’t been business as usual. We haven’t seen much in the way of real interviews other than on the field, and crowds have been quite restricted thus far. Finally things are set to change, although the Toronto Blue Jays seem unlikely to play games in Toronto any time soon as Canada still lags way behind in vaccinations, and the border shows no sign of opening up soon.
11 teams have already returned to 100 percent capacity, including the Tigers. Actually filling the seats is another issue. Most of the rest are set to return to full capacity this month, or following the July 4th holiday.
As far as live interviews go, Awful Announcing has the scoop, as vaccinated media members will be allowed to resume conducting one-on-one interviews on the field on Monday.
Around the horn
Jacob deGrom is off to perhaps the best start to a season in baseball history. The Minnesota Twins—currently tied for last place in the AL Central with your Detroit Tigers—are in trouble, and their playoff hopes are rapidly fading already in early June. The Ringer podcast ranks the top 25 players under age 25 in baseball. Emma Baccallieri at SI also looks at White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal and the prime Alex Avila things he’s doing. MLB.com looks at possible trade chips for all 30 teams. Finally, Trevor Story, somewhat unsurprisingly, is not real keen on signing long-term with the Colorado Rockies. Let the sweepstakes begin...
Baseball is awesome
Tarik Skubal was happy to get the Pitching Ninja treatment. We’ll have something on him and the sudden addition of the sinker to his repertoire shortly.