Detroit — It must’ve been, on some level, bittersweet.
You are 25, a second-round draft pick still grinding in Double-A and a teammate of yours gets the call you are dying for.
That happened to Tigers right-handed pitching prospect Spencer Turnbull a few weeks ago. His teammate at Double-A Erie, Sandy Baez, was called up to the Tigers and pitched 4⅓ hitless innings.
“To see Sandy go up to the big leagues, obviously that was really cool for him — but for us, too,” Turnbull said. “It was a cool moment to celebrate his success and also to see how close it can be for any one of us.”
Turnbull, who like Baez is on the Tigers’ 40-man roster, is doing what he can to get his own call-up — at least a call to Triple-A Toledo. He was named the Eastern League’s pitcher of the week after he struck out 11 in a complete-game, four-hit shutout against Reading.
“My fastball is my go-to pitch, either the four-seamer, which cuts, or my sinker,” he said. “My sinker was really good that day. It was the best it’s ever been.”
He has a 3-5 record at Erie with a 4.29 ERA — that after a slow start in the cold month of April. But he has posted 72 strikeouts and hasn’t allowed a home run in 63 innings.
He may have proven all he can at the Double-A level.
“Sometimes, in the back of your mind, you let yourself think of stuff like that,” he said of moving up the organizational ladder. “But all of that is completely out of my control. I just have to trust the process. Trust God’s plan for my life and believe that if I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do, it will all take care of itself.”
He knows what he needs to show — consistency.
“They tell me I have what it takes,” he said. “It’s just about being consistent and that is in my hands. If I can be consistent, which is what I plan on doing here, then it will take care of itself.”