With rosters expanding on September 1st, Jim Leyland announced that prospect Jacob Turner would toe the slab on Thursday. Not only will the spot start give 20 game winner and Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander an extra day of rest, it will also allow him to start the series opener against the second place Chicago White Sox.
Turner is ranked No. 1 in the Tigers’ system and No. 7 overall in MLB.com’s Top 50 Prospects list. Earlier this month Turner went 5 1/3 innings, surrendering 2 runs and striking out 6 in his major league debut. Since that start he has a 3.20 ERA with 20 strikeouts and just 3 walks in 17 1/3 innings with Triple-A Toledo. The ninth overall pick of the 2009 draft is 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 131 innings between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo this season.
Turners future this season beyond thursdays start however is unknown. After logging just over 115 innings last season, Turner currently has 136 1/3 innings under his belt. With Brad Penny being Brad Penny it’s reasonable to predict perhaps one or two more starts from Turner. Another option would be sending Turner to the pen for occasional work, similar to how the Tampa Rays handled David Price in 2008 down the stretch.
So, I ask you the reader…