This list is of pitching prospects who have been rushed to the major leagues well before they were ever ready. You may notice the first two are Marlins while the last two played for the Marlins – but came from the Tigers organization. No matter how you slice it, the Marlins are giving up on a 23 year old pitching prospect who was among the most highly touted in the game.
And yet, another trade with the Tigers resulted in very little. Anibal Sanchez continues to produce for the Tigers are a high level (a guy the Marlins originally got from the Red Sox as a prospect). Brian Flynn could still pan out; he has put together pretty good numbers at the minor league level, just don’t expect him to climb into a starting role any time soon.
Joe Frisaro summed up the Marlins latest move with Turner very well. In a nutshell, he states that the Turner release came because of timing. The Marlins are in a win-now mode and seeing as Turner was out of options, and the Fish were out of patience, they had to severe their ties and let him go.
And there is definitely truth in that.
Yes, the Marlins would be better served to retain Turner and give him further development at the AAA level. He may never emerge as the frontline starter he was touted to be (many did have their suspicions along the way), but he is still very young and could offer solid trade value. One of the problems though is that Turner is out of options – the Tigers used a lot of those up when they rushed him to the majors after being drafted in 2009 and playing for the Tigers in 2011.
Some are having trouble with this move and saying it is a mistake. Such voices are still attaching themselves to Turner’s potential, because of his age. online casino gambling
Ehsan Khassim over at Marlin Maniac is citing the usual statistics to support his argument – stating strongly that the Marlins’ talent evaluators are “allergic” to advanced statistics, thus making a mistake in releasing Turner. To say such a thing is to belittle the Marlins scouts – the very same ones that drafted talents like Jose Fernandez and watched him develop into one of the best young pitchers in MLB history.
Yet, when one breaks this down, Turner still has a very alarming problem – his control is questionable and inconsistent, his velocity has been dipping ever since he became a touted prospect, and the results – although rushed – are just not there. There was some encouragement as at the start of spring training, there was an uptick in his velocity. He started to throw four pitches more consistently – to add to his fastball and curve, he had a change up and sinker. But Turner was never able to get it together in the first half of the season and, probably because of his high value, was given a fresh start in the 2nd half. After two good outings, he bombed against the Reds. He over relied on his fastball and as a result, he was back to getting rocked. His confidence, yet again, became fractured.
This is also one of the reasons why the Marlins went out and got Jarred Cosart. Is he comparable to Cosart? I suppose if you only look at the stats but when you consider the performances and the “eye-test” (something that most sabermetric stat-heads are definitely allergic to), Cosart gets his fastball up into the upper 90’s more consistently (and easily) and has a competitive fire. Turner looks like he was called on to answer a question in class he never studied for half the time. Cosart does not suffer from a lack of sense of self.
That said, I agree that you probably don’t just give up on Turner outright but at the very least try to get something of value in return. The Marlins are not in need of a shaky bullpen arm nor can they afford to wait-and-see what he can do. They are no longer in development mode at the major league level and this is perhaps the heart of the confusion.
But if the Marlins are finally learning they can’t rush players through the minors to the majors, it comes at great cost. Frisaro notes that DeSclafani and Heaney have been slowed through the bigs, instead getting them to AAA New Orleans before being thrusted into starting roles with the parent club. This is a departure from the past where the Marlins would typically jump from AA to the bigs with their pitchers (see Dontrelle Willis, Jose Fernandez). The problem is, phenomenal pitchers show their tools very early and very impressively – the temptation is there to bring them up.
The other thing is that the Marlins had always been in survival mode, trying to rebuild with young talent and put a competitive product on the field. Now that they are back in contention, although it is still a long shot at this point, they are faced with building for a sustainable future. This means no more rushing prospects to see what they can do at the big league level; no more development with the big league team. This happens when you have stability at the big league level; now you can draft and reload your talent in your farm system instead of raiding it all the time.
This is a good thing for Marlins fans, although the process will confuse many. Releasing Turner is the culmination of this process – the Marlins are no longer in the business of developing talent in survival mode and shipping it off. Perhaps, they have finally crossed back into a legitimate baseball franchise again. For that to happen, the timing, like Frisaro noted, is now and they must part ways with a guy like Turner, who ultimately would not be able to get into the rotation as a legit starter on a playoff bound team. This is also why the Marlins decided to part with two position prospects (Colin Moran and Jake Marisnick) to shore up their parent club roster with Jarred Cosart and Kike Hernandez. They essentially got two big leaguers for two prospects, which signals that things are different in Miami these days.
If the Marlins want to build a sustainable future filled with contention, they must be patient with their prospects and continue to maintain stability at the big league level. If they mishandled Turner, then it comes at great cost. Regardless, the Fish are no longer at the point where they can afford to develop players at the big league level.