Detroit Tigers scrimmage observations: Spencer Turnbull, Rony Garcia pitch well

Anthony Fenech
Detroit Free Press

Here are five observations from the Detroit Tigers’ intrasquad game on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park:

1. Turnbull strong again

Because his performance tailed off in the second half of 2019, his rookie season, it’s easy to forget about Spencer Turnbull. And with so much excitement surrounding the Tigers’ top pitching prospects, it’s perhaps easier to look past the right-hander in terms of their future plans. But Turnbull was the team’s most impressive starter in spring training and has continued that into summer camp. Turnbull retired the first eight men before allowing a walk and two RBI hits.

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2. Garcia continues his case

To be fair, the Tigers have already made Rony Garcia’s case in making the team for him — as the No. 1 overall pick in the offseason’s Rule 5 draft, the Tigers must keep him on the roster for the duration of the regular season or offer him back to the Yankees. After an impressive outing on Wednesday, he pitched solidly again. Garcia has always been considered a safe bet to make the team. In a significantly-shortened 60-game season, it’s a no-brainer. The Tigers certainly like to see the improvement, though.

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3. Welcome to Comerica Park

Tigers top prospect Riley Greene was formally introduced to the spacious right-center field gap at his future home stadium on Saturday, sprinting to the warning track in front of the out-of-town scoreboard to track down a Jeimer Candelario fly ball. Greene lost his hat on the sprint but made the catch. The Tigers believe he is athletic enough to play center field. For Candelario, he was robbed of a hit for the second time this camp: Derek Hill made a circus catch in Tuesday’s intrasquad opener.

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Tigers center fielder Victor Reyes takes a lead off at second base during the intrasquad scrimmage at Comerica Park on Saturday, July 11, 2020.

4. Powering up

After center fielder JaCoby Jones was a late scratch, Victor Reyes stepped in for his first intrasquad action and hit an opposite-field RBI double off Turnbull in the third inning. Reyes arrived at camp on Thursday; he was away from the team on paternity leave. Reyes looks to be the Tigers’ fourth outfielder but could earn more playing time. Harold Castro followed Reyes with an RBI double off the right field wall. … Jonathan Schoop hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first, a line drive shot into the Tigers bullpen in left.

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5. In the bullpen

Two names who are likely under serious consideration for bullpen spots on the Opening Day roster, righty Jose Cisnero and lefty Nick Ramirez, both pitched well. Cisnero, a hard thrower, needs to improve on his fastball command if he’s going to stick at the major league level. Ramirez showed up to summer camp in good shape and it has not been forgotten the way that he came through for the Tigers in a pinch last season.

Contact Anthony Fenech at afenech@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @anthonyfenech. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.