Detroit Tigers trounced, 18-5, by Toronto Blue Jays: Game thread recap

Detroit Tigers (5-3) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (4-3) in Grapefruit League play

When: 1:05 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.

TV: None.

Radio: WXYT-AM (1270); Tigers radio affiliates).

Starting pitchers: Tigers RHP Spencer Turnbull (4-2, 2.88 ERA in 2021) vs. Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchison (3-9, 4-53 ERA in 2022).

• Box score.

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull warms up before live batting practice during spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull warms up before live batting practice during spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

Tigers lineup:

3B Nick Maton

LF Matt Vierling

RF Kerry Carpenter

DH Miguel Cabrera

CF Parker Meadows

2B Cesar Hernandez

1B Andre Lipcius

C Donny Sands

SS Jermaine Palacios

P Spencer Turnbull

Game notes: The Tigers’ 2023 rotation is mostly set, with LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, RHP Michael Lorenzen (who threw two innings in Friday night’s victory over the Yankees), LHP Matthew Boyd, RHP Matt Manning and RHP Spencer Turnbull set to get the bulk of the starts once Opening Day rolls around. Of those five, of course, only four pitched last season. The other is Turnbull, who hasn’t pitched in a game since departing his start on June 4, 2021, after just four innings with “right forearm tightness.” The diagnosis became a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow two months later, necessitating the three words every pitcher dreads: “Tommy John surgery.” The procedure, which Turnbull got on July 29, 2021, replaces the UCL with a ligament taken from elsewhere in the body (we’re too polite to ask where) and brings a recovery time of 12-18 months. (It’s also why you won’t likely see Casey Mize pitching for the Tigers any time soon.)

The injury was particularly devastating for Tigers fans — though not actually as painful as it was for Turnbull, we assume — considering Turnbull was in the midst of a breakout season. Just three weeks earlier, on May 18, 2021, Turnbull no-hit the Mariners in Seattle — the eighth no-no in franchise history. Of course, we’re not expecting anything like that today. Shoot, Turnbull likely won’t even go more than a couple innings against the Jays.

Toronto is dealing with an injury scare of its own, as star slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with “right knee discomfort.” (If that requires surgery, we don’t think it’s named after any particular player.) “Just checking it out, seeing how he is,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider told reporters afterward. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. Really, just playing it safe at this point and this part of camp.” Schneider said no tests were scheduled for Friday and a decision will be made Saturday whether to schedule further evaluations.

Even without the 2021 AL MVP runner-up in action, the Jays still have plenty of familiar faces — including their starter today: former Tiger Drew Hutchison. The Lakeland, Florida, native gets a homecoming after signing with the team that drafted him, way back in 2009, this offseason. Hutchison spend the past two seasons eating whatever innings were freed up by the bevy of injuries decimating the Detroit rotation; he posted a 4.12 ERA with 78 strikeouts and 53 walks over 126 2/3 innings for the Tigers in 2021-22.

After Saturday’s game, the Tigers head down to Fort Myers for games against the Twins (on Sunday) and Red Sox (on Monday). One item of note: Sunday’s game — featuring lefty Joey Wentz going against Twins big offseason acquisition Pablo Lopez — will be the first game on Bally Sports Detroit this year, featuring Matt Shepard and newly promoted Craig Monroe in the booth.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers lose to Toronto Blue Jays, 18-5: Game thread recap