Spencer Torkelson's left hamstring tightness doesn’t sound likely to keep the Tigers' top prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, out more than a few days at High-A West Michigan. He told Whitecaps radio broadcaster Dan Hasty on Tuesday that it’s “not out of the equation” he could return to action by the end of the homestand this week.
“As long as I feel good, I'm going to keep moving forward in the recovery,” he said, “but I think I feel great today. It's just a little tight, and that's all. We'll see where we're at tomorrow and go from there.”
Torkelson said he felt the hamstring tighten up as he ran hard to first base on a ground ball in his first at-bat Sunday. He actually didn’t say anything about it right away, he said, but the staff, including athletic trainer Cody Derby, soon noticed it.
“I wanted to stay in the game, honestly, but they kind of saw me babying it a little bit when I was jogging and running,” Torkelson said. “They didn't want to risk anything, because there's a long season ahead and missing a game or two is not the biggest deal.”
Torkelson was lifted for a pinch-hitter as a precaution when his spot came back around in the third inning.
“It's one of those things, you know, where I could either play through it and be at 50% for three months, or I could take a couple days off and be at 100% for the rest of the year,” he said. “I think that's just what we're doing.”
Still, the injury came at a bad time for Torkelson, who hit his first professional home run on Saturday as part of a four-hit doubleheader at Wisconsin. He finished the series batting 7-for-18 with six RBIs, four walks and one strikeout as he simplified his approach at the plate.
“I think the biggest thing was just staying back,” Torkelson said. “When I see that pitch, I'm not going to go try to go get it. I let it come to me and then let it get in my happy zone, then put a good swing on it. I was seeing the ball really well and then staying back on the ball, which is always good.
“... I started off a little slower than I would like to, so I [was] trying to get it instead of just letting it come to me and just trusting the process and trusting everything else. So I'm glad I actually finally figured that one out.”