Tigers' Torkelson out after minor finger cut

February 25th, 2021

LAKELAND, Fla. -- ’s highly anticipated Grapefruit League debut will have to wait a few days. His work in the kitchen might be on hold for longer.

Torkelson, the Tigers' top prospect, will miss the first few games of Spring Training after sustaining a small cut on his right index finger. The injury happened Wednesday night at his rental home, manager A.J. Hinch said.

No specific details were released, but Torkelson and Hinch hinted at what might have happened. Torkelson made light of it Thursday afternoon.

Torkelson is sharing a house in the area with teammates and . Like all players, the three have been staying in quite a bit as part of baseball’s protocols during the pandemic. Rogers said earlier this week, before the mishap, that Torkelson had been making stir-fry for the house, among other dishes.

“I’m glad he wasn’t at a restaurant,” Hinch said. “If he did it in a restaurant, we’d have a problem with the protocols. He was following the rules. Maybe part of his development is going to be opening a can, I don’t know.”

Other than good-natured ribbing, the injury isn’t expected to have any long-term impacts. Torkelson required a couple of stitches on the finger, Hinch said, but should be fine. He took part in fielding drills Thursday morning without a bandage on his finger, but he won’t hit or throw for a few days.

“And then he’s sitting in the cage watching other guys hit, which is probably the cruelest thing that he can do to himself,” Hinch said.

Indeed, Torkelson was around the cage as and took batting practice against hard-throwing relief prospect .

Before the injury, Torkelson was scheduled to talk with reporters on a video conference Thursday afternoon after workouts in his first media session this Spring Training. That session was postponed, though Torkelson is expected to speak in the next few days.

Torkelson was expected to get a good amount of playing time at third base in the opening stretch of Grapefruit League games, thanks in part to the delayed arrivals of other hitters in camp. is in Lakeland and working out on his own, but he is still awaiting intake testing and clearance to enter the Tigertown facility. First basemen and have also been delayed, while ’s time in the field will be limited the first few days.

With Torkelson sidelined, others could see extra at-bats, including Short and Clemens. So could , who is in competition for a utility spot on Detroit’s Opening Day roster.

The Tigers open Grapefruit League play on Sunday at Joker Marchant Stadium against the Phillies, in a matchup that could have paired young sluggers Torkelson and Alec Bohm. Detroit heads to Tampa on Monday to face the Yankees.

Alexander, Fulmer to start first two games
will throw the Tigers’ first pitch of this Spring Training when he gets the start against the Phillies on Sunday at Joker Marchant Stadium. Alexander, who set a Major League record by striking out nine consecutive batters in a relief appearance on Aug. 2, 2020, is part of the competition for a rotation spot in Tigers camp.

will begin his second season back from Tommy John surgery on Monday when he faces the Yankees in Tampa. It’ll be his first Grapefruit League appearance since March 9, 2019.

Former Tigers starter Iván Nova is scheduled to start for the Phillies on Sunday.

Detroit could use the first couple of games to get early looks at a number of non-roster invites who face decisions before camp is up. is expected to pitch in one of the early games in his comeback attempt with his old team.