By Robert Wilson
Madison Central alumnus and Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery today in Birmingham. He is expected to miss the rest of the 2021 season and most or all of the 2022 season, the team announced. Turnbull was having the best season of his career. He threw a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners on May 18 and had a 4-2 record with a 2.88 earned run average in nine starts this season. He last pitched on June 4, then went on the injured list with a strained forearm.
“It wasn’t an abrupt injury, but he had some chronic damage from an earlier injury,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Spencer came to the conclusion that it was in his best interest, and quite frankly in our best interest, to have it done now.”
Turnbull was the first Mississippian to throw a no-hitter in the history of the major leagues. Turnbull threw 117 pitches with nine strikeouts and only two walks in the 3-0 win over the Mariners. He had never pitched past the seventh inning in his career and was making his 50th start. Turnbull threw 29 first pitch strikes in 34 batters. It was the first no-hitter by a Tigers pitcher since Justin Verlander in 2011.
Turnbull, who played at Alabama and was a second-round pick in the 2014 Major League Draft by the Tigers, is in his third full season with the Tigers. He made his major league debut in September, 2018.
We at Mississippi Scoreboard pray that Turnbull will have a successful surgery today and a full recovery.