Marlins Spring Training 2013: Is Jacob Turner in Danger of Losing Spot in Rotation?

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Miami MarlinsAccording to Joe Capozzi, the Marlins may be thinking of pushing Jacob Turner out of the rotation. Right now, Turner has a 16.20 ERA in 3.1 IP with 2 K’s and 4 BBs. He is not throwing strikes or “pounding the strike zone”, something of a mantra for manager Mike Redmond’s Marlins this spring.

So far this year, Turner has thrown 40 pitches and only 22 have been for strikes. Yes, that is a very small sample size (only 3 bleeping innings!) but there is cause for concern as Turner continues to work and get his control back. There is some hope though, his last outing Turner went 3.0 IP and struck out 2 and walked 1. He threw 19 pitches – 15 for strikes. A much better ratio and hitters dropped from an .800 average in his first start to only .182 this second time around. His next start will be Tuesday in Jupiter against the Cardinals, the team that roughed him up in his 1/3 of inning work in his spring debut back in February.

The plan may be to start him off in the minors to get more time in and just focus on getting control and bringing him along a bit more slowly. Even though Capozzi paints a dark picture, it is a bit too early to rush to judgement and surely both the Marlins and Turner know this. If he can focus on delivering strikes, and working on refining his mechanics, and getting efficient use of his pitches, then Turner should be good to go as the #2 man in the rotation. If not, expect Kevin Slowey and John Maine to compete for his spot in the rotation until Turner gets things right – which he most certainly will.

This does pose a great strategy for the Marlins, which even the Mets announcers this afternoon picked up on – the Marlins have several veteran arms in camp that can eat up innings if need be, in case the young arms of the Marlins struggle. Right now, Nathan Eovaldi looks the best of the four expected starters – even opening day starter Ricky Nolasco looks a bit out of it.