Jacob Turner Among 18 Tigers Cuts


The Detroit Tigers have wrapped up the split-squad portion of the spring schedule, so there is little need to keep extra bodies around. Detroit made it’s first round of roster cuts today, including the optioning of right hander Jacob Turner to Double-A Erie.

Turner, 19, is in just his second professional season after the Tigers made him their first-round pick in the 2009 draft. He split time between two A-ball stops last year and has continued to turn heads this spring. The Erie assignment is aggressive given Turner’s age, but shows that the Tigers are looking at him being ready for the major leagues sooner rather than later.

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I had expected he would be assigned to Lakeland to start the year if for no other reason than to keep him in the warmer weather a bit longer. This assignment indicates, to me at least, that Turner is s serious candidate to see a spot start or two in Detroit this year, ala Justin Verlander in 2005.

I addition to Turner, left hander Andy Oliver was also optioned out. He’ll start the 2011 season with the Mudhens in Toledo. Joining Oliver will be Cale Iorg, Ryan Strieby, Duane Below, Lester Oliveros, Jose Ortega and Audy Ciriaco.

Several non-roster invitees also saw their major league dream come to an end, at least for now. Pitchers Chris Oxspring and John Bale, whom had been competing for a bullpen job, were re-assigned to minor league camp, as were a host of extra catchers including Bryan Holaday and Patrick Leyland.

The Tigers still have eight non-roster invitees in camp, including Andy Dirks, who has turned heads with his impressive spring. Left-handed pitchers Adam Wilk, Fu-Te Ni, right-handers Enrique Gonzalez, Brendan Wise, catcher Max St. Pierre, and infielders Argenis Diaz and Scott Thorman are the others.

The Tigers still have 15 players to be cut before Opening Day, but the dream is still alive for a handful of guys. There will be a couple of extra slots available this year as well, as the Tigers announced today that Joel Zumaya and Carlos Guillen will miss the start of the regular season. Zumaya had appeared in just one Grapefruit League game before suffering elbow and forearm soreness. Guillen has yet to make his debut in game action this spring, still recovering from knee surgery.

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