Turner hard to hit in first formal spring outing
Remember this about Jacob Turner’s first official outing of Spring Training: The Yankees couldn’t put the ball in play against him, including Mark Teixeira, who struck out with the bases loaded and two outs.
How did they end up with bases loaded, you ask? Well, that was interesting, too.
Turner’s debut Wednesday didn’t come with anywhere near the hype surrounding Stephen Strasburg’s first start a day earlier, and probably not as much anticipation as Rick Porcello’s first outing two years ago, but it didn’t get overlooked. If it somehow did, he certainly created some anticipation for his first pro season.
An inside pitch that grazed Jorge Vazquez, plus walks to ex-Tiger Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson, loaded the bases with two outs and Teixeira at the plate. Incredibly, Turner gathered himself and worked Teixeira into a situation for a strikeout.
To Turner, it wasn’t so much a matter of calming down, because he felt he was calm.
“I was confident the whole time,” he said after his outing. “Even when I had the bases loaded, when I was walking guys, I wasn’t missing by a whole lot. I was just missing a little bit here and a little bit there. I was confident that I could go out there and throw strikes and hopefully get guys out, and that’s what happened.”
He was the third strikeout of the inning for Turner, and by far the biggest. Former Tiger Mike Rivera and Ramiro Pena were Turner’s other two victims.
How big was Teixeira’s strikeout? By leaving runners on base, Turner became the only Tigers pitcher on the day to not give up runs.
Turner is doing a very good job of not being awed by the situation. A year ago at this point, he was still in high school getting ready for his senior season. Now, he’s already Detroit’s top pitching prospect, according to some publications depending on how they rank Casey Crosby, before Turner even throws a regular-season pitch.
How he was able to get swings and misses from one of the more selective teams in baseball these days was all the more impressive.
“These guys aren’t going to swing at a lot of bad pitches,” Turner said. “You’re going to have to throw it over the plate if they’re going to swing at it. That’s a complement to them, really.”