Tigers skipping top prospect Turner
If anything has changed in the Tigers’ recluctance to trade top prospect Jacob Turner, it isn’t showing in their actions. After Detroit moved up Turner two days in the rotation at Double-A Erie to pitch last Friday, the team is now skipping Turner from his next turn. He won’t pitch again until next Monday, six days before the July 31 trading deadline.
“We are monitoring his workload,” Tigers vice president and assistant general manager Al Avila wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
The Tigers have refused to part with their top pick from the 2009 Draft, brushing off several inquiries last offseason. If they’re going to make a run at Rockies top starter Ubaldo Jimenez, however, it might well require them to part with him. Yahoo Sports cited a source saying any trade package would have to include Turner.
Turner pitched in last week’s Futures Game as part of All-Star Week festivities in Phoenix, then the Eastern League All-Star Game three days later, then five innings in a start two days after that. He’s the best of the Tigers’ upper-level pitching prospects, and the one that hasn’t pitched in the Majors yet. Both Andy Oliver and Charlie Furbush started and struggled in Detroit this season.
The Tigers recalled Furbush to their bullpen Tuesday for what is expected to be primarily a long relief role, seemingly ending his starting candidacy for now. Oliver has struggled off and on at Triple-A Toledo since his return, though he reportedly pitched in front of a good number of scouts Sunday night.
It doesn’t look like the Tigers have zeroed in on Jimenez by any stretch. They’ve been scouting him, but their scouts have been spotted at plenty of games in various cities in recent days.
“They’re trying hard on a starting pitcher,” one Major League scout said.
– Jason Beck