When the Detroit Tigers drafted Jacob Turner in the first round of the 2009 draft, they have expected big things. Turner has been ranked in the top 25 of best prospects the last three years.
With all the hype surrounding the tall right hander, it’s easy to see why Tigers fans got excited when they of heard the so called “second coming” of Justin Verlander, got called up for his first major league start in 2011. Turner would show some promise in his first start; going 5 1/3 innings and only allowing two earned runs on three hits against the Los Angeles Angels. Leaving a good taste in the mouths of the Tigers and Tigers fans alike.
Turner would start two more games before the end of the 2011 season. Both games were un-impressive, giving up a combined total of 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.
In Spring Training, Turner, Drew Smyly, Adam Wilk, and Andy Oliver were all vying for the fifth spot in the rotation. Smyly eventually won the job, even though Turner was looked upon as the favorite but went down with an arm injury.
After spending two months in the minors, the Tigers looked to give their number one rated prospect another try after Smyly went down with a finger injury.
Turner would hurl five innings of one earned run baseball against the St. Louis Cardinals, and after Smyly’s struggles at the time, may of been trying to push himself into the starting rotation.
But after his last start against the team he debuted against; Turner is running low on chances. In two innings of work, the Angels managed to score seven runs and tag Turner up for four home runs. Maybe getting a chance as the potential fifth starter was silenced quickly.
Even after being mutilated by the Angels, Jim Leyland is running low on options because of the recent injury to Smyly. Going on his second DL stint this year.
Turner will make his third start of the 2012 season on Sunday, and this could very well be his final audition. If the Chicago White Sox manage to ruff up the youngster like the Angels were able to, this might finally seal the nail in the coffin of all talks of Turner being a potential September call up.
Lets get one thing clear: Turner is only 21-years-old and still has a lot of potential to be a very good pitcher. But this upcoming start will be the deciding point whether or not the Tigers give him another shot at sometime during the year, or if they finally pull the plug and let him develop more in the minors and prepare for what could be his first full season in 2013.
And what could be more convincing than a good outing over a division rival that could potentially put the Tigers in first place.
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