Spencer Turnbull Makes Season Debut After Battling COVID-19
Former Alabama and current Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull is set to make his season debut tonight after battling COVID-19. Turnbull has been away from the Tigers, battling COVID-19 since March 19 and unfortunately the fourth-year pitcher lost 10 pounds of muscle during quarantine.
"It's definitely a weird virus," Turnbull, said Tuesday. "It just does weird stuff to your body. I was never like miserable, miserable. I've heard stories of people having it way worse. But I definitely had symptoms and am trying to get back to normal."
The Demopolis, Alabama native was allowed to return to the team on April 1 and immediately began trying to put the weight back on that he had lost.
He's made two outings while in recovery, a short simulated game against the Chicago Cubs alternate team that was interrupted by rain and moved indoors. Last week he pitched against the Cincinnati Reds farm team in Toledo and gave his team 4.3 innings and struck-out two batters while allowing two runs off four hits and two walks on 70 pitches.
"I feel good and pretty close to normal," Turnbull said. "Kind of working my way back. I'm definitely a little lighter, haven't gotten all my weight back yet. Velocity is getting there. It was almost there last start. It was a little down but started creeping back up as the innings went on."
He told the Detroit media that he is expecting to give the Tigers five or six innings this evening and is aiming to throw 75-85 pitches in his season-debut.
Turnbull came on last season, in 11 starts he struck out 51 batters gave up 29 walks while sporting a career-best 3.97 ERA. Prior to being forced into quarantine, he pitched nine innings in spring training, accumulating nine strikeouts while giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks.
The Detroit Tigers will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a double-header today beginning at 1:10 p.m. CT, Turnbull is slated to start the second game for the Tigers.