The Tigers have informed veteran righty Julio Teheran that he will make their Opening Day roster, manager A.J. Hinch announced to reporters Wednesday (Twitter links via Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press). Teheran had a March 22 opt-out date in his contract that he triggered two days ago, giving the club 48 hours to make the move. He’ll now be guaranteed a $3MM salary with up to $1MM available via additional incentives. In a corresponding roster move, the Tigers announced that righty Spencer Turnbull has been placed on the injured list. No reason was given, but he’s been away from the rest of the club since Saturday due to Covid-19 protocols.
Detroit also informed left-hander Tarik Skubal that he’s made the big league rotation. Meanwhile, veteran righty Erasmo Ramirez and lefty Ian Krol did not make the club but will stick with the team. Ramirez has more than six years of service time and finished out the 2020 season on a 40-man roster, making him an Article XX(B) free agent under the collective bargaining agreement and thus entitling him to a $100K retention bonus for remaining with the Tigers rather than taking the release opportunity afforded to him by that status.
Teheran, 30, has had an outstanding spring with the Tigers, holding opponents to three runs on just six hits and one walk with 15 strikeouts over the course of 11 innings. More encouragingly, he’s shown improved velocity this spring, with both Petzold and The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen indicating that he came out of the gates hitting 92.8 and 92.9 mph — just a year after Statcast pegged his average four-seamer at 89.2 mph and his average sinker at 88.7 mph.
Last year was a particularly dismal season for Teheran. In his first season away from his original organization, the Braves, Teheran missed the early portion of the year due to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis and attempted to build up his pitch count in a big league setting but never looked like himself. He was clobbered for a disastrous 10.05 ERA (5.99 SIERA) with a career-low 13.4 percent strikeout rate against an elevated 10.7 percent walk rate.
Prior to 2020, Teheran had been a durable workhorse in Atlanta. He may not have developed into the ace-caliber starter that many expected based on his former top prospect status — his 2014 season came close — but from 2013-19 Teheran combined for a 3.64 ERA over the life over 1334 innings. He averaged 32 starts per season along the way, landing on the injured list only twice: a two-week stretch due to a minor lat strain in 2016 and a 10-day stint for a thumb contusion in 2018.
Teheran now steps into the Tigers’ rotation alongside Matthew Boyd, Jose Urena and the up-and-coming Skubal, who ranked as one of the game’s top 50 prospects prior to making his MLB debut in 2020. The 24-year-old Skubal was tagged for a 5.63 ERA last season, but only in a small sample of 32 innings. He battled some control issues a bit in his most recent spring start but has held opponents to a pair of runs on eight hits and eight walks with 15 strikeouts in 12 Grapefruit League innings. Obviously, he’ll need to command the strike zone more effectively during the season, but Skubal has encouraged the club enough to further audition for a long-term rotation spot.
Turnbull was likely ticketed for a rotation spot himself, but there’s no timeline for his return to the club. In the meantime, the Tigers can look to former No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize or former Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer. The latter worked out of the bullpen in his most recent outing and has generally struggled this spring, but he still hopes to return to form as a starter after undergoing Tommy John surgery late in 2018, missing 2019 and struggling in 2020. Mize has also struggled, however, so the Tigers could look elsewhere within the organization to piece things together until Turnbull is deemed eligible to return. Both Daniel Norris and Tyler Alexander have experience starting at the MLB level.
Watched Skubal yesterday but wasn’t exactly impressed – this from a Brewers fan who’s been seeing his name pop up but doesn’t get a lot of chances to see him. Looks like a serviceable back of rotation type. From Tigers fans, what’s so intriguing? How’s that Mize kid doing? Is Boyd ever going to figure it out or should they have traded him a few years ago when the hype was so high?
he’d otherwise been pretty good in the spring
I haven’t seen much of Skubal either yet. The way he is talked about in the organization reminds me of when Drew Smyly was coming up. Smyly was excellent before his injury, so that’s pretty exciting.
Mize looks like he will be the real deal at some point, has shown flashes of brilliance. I would guess he breaks out sometime next year, but who knows?
The Tigers definitely should’ve traded Boyd at his peak. He’s too inconsistent overall. Might thrown a gem, then have four middling starts after. That seems to be his MO.
Skubal and Mize have ace-level talent, but they’re not sure things. Their key is how much the Detroit pitching staff can develop them. I’d predict they both become mid-rotation starters. Boyd should’ve been traded. But Avila is horrible at dealing. He wanted way too much for Boyd. He either wants the entire farm for a player or he gives up a talented player for a bag of peanuts and a Diet Coke.
Kinda what I thought guys, thanks! Baseball is better when Detroit is competitive, so hoping they get back to that soon.
Totally agree on Avila. You’d think he would’ve learned more from Dombrowski, having worked for him for so long. Except that Edgar Renteria trade (so bad), Dombrowski was/is excellent at trading.
Dombrowski has always been a phenomenal wheeler n dealer. He can build a championship level team. My only complaint on him is he rapes and pillages the farm system to do it, and isn’t good at replenishing it.
In DD we trusted. Great trader, decent drafter but, … sold the farm. I know they’re all trading chips but, … didn’t need to trade the whole damn bunch.
Lots of opinions down here, will throw mine in too; Boyd has been overrated from the beginning, and we missed out on the opportunity to flip him on a sell-high, but hindsight and all that. Mize is looking like a colossal bust, unless he fixes his mechanics and learns how to control his stuff. He has very good “stuff”, but the inability to locate coupled with the fact he’s a rookie, and on one of the worst teams in baseball isn’t going to get him any sympathy from home plate umps when he’s trying to nibble on the corners with erratic command. Skubal could be a diamond in the rough, but again, the hypetrain has been off the rails on him, touting him as a TOR arm, but I think given the pitches he has, coupled with the kind of park he will be pitching in, has a scenario of BOR arm being much more realistic. I hope I’m wrong, of course, because we need the 2 young kids especially to be at least mid-rotation level arms if we hope to come out of this rebuild with any sort of a competitive-level team. Our young bats are going in the wrong direction, too, so Hinch and Co. have their work cutout for them to fix the damage done by the previous inept staff. Oh, and Avila is still at the helm, so there is a built-in handicap for us yet to overcome.
Yes, Boyd has been terribly overrated. Hot April and May in 2018 and 2019 seemed to make everyone think he was hot stuff. He is at best a league average pitcher. But we never missed an opportunity to sell high on him because the rest of the league knows he is mediocre and never offered anything of value for him. Boyd has more value to the Tigers as a rotation piece now and mentor to our younger pitchers than some longshot prospect we might get back for him. So do not blame Avila one bit for holding onto him when nothing of value was offered.
Ah, I didn’t realize we had someone with Avila’s ear in the chat. Thanks for putting me in my place, had no idea “nothing of value was offered” for Boyd.
I’m hoping the new staff can develop the players better. Hinch and the staff definitely have a lot of damage control to do. Last season was a bumpy road for everyone, so hopefully that isn’t the norm. I think Skubal and Mize can be come 2 aces. And Manning a solid mid rotation starter. Development is key.
I’m excited for Julio to be in the rotation. If he can put himself in a comeback player of the year discussion, he can stabilize the rotation for years.
Kripes, Skubal has had a meteoric rise since he was drafted. He averaged 2 strikeouts per inning in AA and has so far skipped AAA completely. Last season, he was unfortunate in a couple of outings, but was otherwise impressive at the major league level.
This season, he has added a splitter to his repertoire and is trying to throw it at various speeds. This is why his walk rate is up. If what he is doing with the splitter isn’t working, I don’t anticipate him doing the same thing once the season begins.
And, whoever said Mize is a bust, its too early to say that. But, he’s heading in that direction, no doubt. I think he’s still hurt from when he had that arm injury in Erie. He never regained his form after that.
Boyd had a hamstring strain and plantar fasciitis which forced him to alter his delivery last year. He’s bouncing back. Skubal is very impressive, despite his last start, and will a top of the rotation with K upside. Mize is the same way, since his command mysteriously disappeared last year. It’ll be back.
Hard to walk with four balls
The Tigers will win a Championship before the Brewers will. 🙂
Hard to walk with four balls
12 innings pitched, 15 Ks, and 2 ER: “wasn’t exactly impressed”, says the clown.
I have no problem with his comment. I have him on my fantasy team, so I like him enough to roll the dice. But he had a 5.63 ERA last year, and 8 walks in 12 IPs in ST.
There is a lot of upside, but there is a lot to be ‘not impressed with’.
Good for Julio. If you “out preform your peripherals” for as long as he did, you’re just straight up good.
Matt Cain’s Law
Happy for Julio. Was always a dependable arm in Atlanta. Never super impressive, but could eat up some innings and rarely injured. Nice guy too.
They’re like, “do you remember the Angels?”, and he’s like, “who!?”
More like a reporter mentioned the Angels, and he jumped across the table to choke them
Skubal has had control issues this spring. Would prefer him to work on this in Toledo early then come up later and be part of the rotation. But with Fulmer’s inconsistency and Turnbull being out on COVID protocol they really don’t have much choice. He has excellent stuff just needs to polish it. But all we have heard is how they will be limiting innings for him, Mize and Manning this year due to lack of play last year in the minors. Well, if that is what is going to happen, would have been better for Skubal to start in Toledo where the season is delayed a month and finish up with the big club at the end. The goal for all three of them is to be in the rotation from the get go next year. So now the Tigers will have to figure out how to manage his innings this year. Just hate to see him possibly shut down early because of the innings limits.
For Love of the Game
I love all these comments dumping on Mize, Skubal, or Manning. These guys are 23-24 years old. Take a look at Justin Verlander’s first two starts in a brief callup in 2005. 7.15 ERA, 15 hits and 5 walks in 11 innings. Just 7 strikeouts. These three have talent, but it takes development to make them quality major leaguers. Just don’t determine a guy’s whole career by how they look as a 23-24 year old.
Agreed. Manning, Mize, and Skubal are not busts. They’re young and developing. Maybe they end up being busts, or maybe they become aces. Too early to say either way
For Love of the Game
I love all these comments dumping on Mize, Skubal, or Manning.
I’m curious, did you read any of the comments? There were absolutely -0- comments dumping on any of the three. The single harshest comment was “Looks like a serviceable back of rotation type. “.
Me and Julio, down by the school yard!
Thanks, Paul. Let’s share a joint.
For a FO that seldom, if ever impresses me, this is a great move. I’m not a Tigers’ fan, but as a BB fan, please don’t keep Mize and Manning with the team. It would be a waste of service time to promote them.