Turner terrific in Toledo … what’s next?

Jacob Turner was on an innings limit and a pitch count Friday for Triple-A Toledo in his first start on regular rest since he made his spot start in Detroit. Whether the innings were perfect or not, he wasn’t going to go beyond six, as specified by the Tigers. If he hit the pitch count before then, he would’ve been out.

Instead, he made his innings pretty impressive, going six scoreless on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts. He needed just 66 pitches and 47 strikes, including nine-pitch innings in the fifth and sixth, and first-pitch strikes to 14 out of 22 Buffalo Bisons. His only three-ball count was his only walk, that to Triple-A veteran Valentino Pascucci. Take away that walk, and he had just three other two-ball counts, and two of those ended in strikeouts.

In short, Turner looked like a guy on his way to catching up with the International League.

“Just coming back on five days, I think, made a difference,” Turner said after the game. “My stuff was a little sharper. … Everything was kind of in sync tonight.”

As good as the numbers were, the pitches might have been better. He threw consistently tight, sharp curveballs and got swings and misses. Most of his strikeouts came off that pitch. By my count, only one guy made solid enough contact off of it to get a base hit, and he had to reach for it.

“Really, my last start in Double-A, I think I got a good feeling for it,” Turner said. “And then it just kind of carried over from then on. It’s been a little bit crisper than it had in the past. The break’s been a little bit sharper, and I think that’s helped me get a lot more swing-and-misses with it. It’s been a lot more consistent.”

As Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin put it, Turner was “outstanding.” He was also good enough to probably go for a complete game in 100 pitches or less if not for the innings limit.

The limits set him up for at least one more start, and it won’t be on that extra-long rest. The question now is where that will happen. The plan, Nevin said, calls for Turner to start for the Hens in five days, and Turner said his understanding was the same.

On the other hand, there’s the mystery in Minneapolis, where Tigers manager Jim Leyland has an open spot for a starter on Sept. 1, the day rosters expand. Leyland is giving Justin Verlander an extra day’s rest before his next start Sept. 2 against the White Sox. The Sept. 1 game is a makeup contest against the Royals.

According to Chris Iott of Booth Newspapers, when Leyland was asked about the starter for Sept. 1, his answer was, “Stay tuned.”

Andy Oliver is scheduled to start for the Mud Hens Saturday, which would put him on a timetable where his regular turn would come up again Sept. 1. But he also has had a wild summer, most recent seven innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts despite five walks.

Keep in mind, when Turner got his spot start for the Tigers in July, he was the scheduled starter for Erie all week until the day before, when he suddenly was scratched. The Tigers had called up Drew Smyly and written him in for the next day before suddenly moving him up a day. The Tigers, meanwhile, had indicated weeks earlier that Turner wasn’t an option to start in Detroit, though that was more about the rotation than about a spot assignment.

7 Comments

This is fun stuff. Back in the day when there were only a couple of daily newspapers and a 3-minute sports segment on the nightly news, this kind of thing was hardly ever talked about. Now there is a plethora of information. And I get to use the word plethora.
I’d like to see Turner again, and Smyly also next month.
So this week we’ve had an earthquake, a hurricane, and me agreeing with nearly all of JL’s moves. Amazing.
What with tomorrow’s scheduled Fox game (Mets) being postponed, and local Fox covering the hurricane, I have no idea if I’ll get to see Verlander go for #20.

Pingback: 08-27-11--DETROIT VS MINNESOTA--4:10 PM

Rich-take I don’t know how close you are to water, but it looks like this morning they have down graded things a little? I would if I were you, start looking for he pigs that are soon to be flying near you? You agree with Leyland? Two different natural disasters in one week? Crazy!

That’s take care?

Glad MI is not in harm’s way. Af.ter I returned from the game May 29th and “straight line winds” (what a joke) tornado hit Battle Creek, there are still homes being completely reconstructed. When I walk my dog now the landscape seems so unrecognizeable because of the thousands of trees pulled up . The skyline is completely different. Very eerie.

Go Tigers. Will miss the first hour of the game and will be literally running to get home to watch.

Oh, there was article quoting Leland re C.arlos Guillen. He’s hopeful he’ll be able to return by Sept 1. 2nd base merry-go-round.

As long as the merry-go-round operator doesn’t install Carlos as the lead horse. Guillen and Ordonez, both great guys, done a lot for us, appreciate and love ‘em both, but old guard. Pick their spots going forward. The times they are a’changing.

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