Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy debut to Jacob Turner

Before I get on with today's post, I thought I'd note that this is my 200th post since I began this blog late last August.  Everybody likes nice round numbers like that, and it's a milestone I'm happy to have reached.

Now, onto things that deserve more celebration.  Jacob Turner, Detroit's #1 prospect (two years running!) made his Major League debut this afternoon against the Angels of Los Angeles/Anaheim, California.  It was great to see a kid just a couple years removed from high school pitch his first Major League game, at home, no less.

What a Jacob Turner may look like
Turner showed a great deal of poise throughout his 5 1/3 innings, striking out six while giving up only three hits and walks each.  Leyland felt compelled to remove him mainly because of his increasing pitch count (ultimately 96) and the fact that he walked his final batter.  Old Jim has always been stuck in his NL ways and today was no exception as his pitcher knocked in the winning run thanks to his decision to put in Phil Coke, who was really responsible for the loss with which Turner was tagged.  There's no way to sugar coat it:  Coke sucked ass today, and as usual I prayed for the day when the only team Leyland was managing has online drafts and weekly roster move limits (not that he'd even know how to use a computer, much less a relief pitcher).

Leyland rant aside, Turner was a bright spot today.  While he won't be with the team again for a while yet (this was just a spot start), he brought some positive attention to the team and really showed flashes of talent and maturity for a pitcher his age.  One of the funnier moments was Fox's interview with Turner's dad, whom they pointed out was the source of Jacob's calm demeanor.  Considering Mr. Turner sounded as excited as Joe Buck calling the All-Star game, I'm sure they're right.

While it's not officially the trade deadline yet, I'm relieved that it doesn't appear the Tigers will be swindled out of Turner and will get to enjoy Baseball America's current #11 overall prospect for a few years, at least.  The fact that they were even considering it in terms of picking up a guy like Ubaldo Jimenez scares me.  I might have said the same thing a few years ago about trading Andrew Miller in the Miguel Cabrera/Dontrelle Willis deal, but I had fewer misgivings then because I knew what Cabrera was capable of, so the fact that Miller has done absolutely nothing doesn't affect my view of that deal.  Turner, however, really does look like a future front-line starter, and I'm leery of how well a pitcher will do moving up to the American League.  (As it turns out, as I was writing this, it appears Jimenez was sent to Cleveland, one of Detroit's AL Central rivals)  Hats off to Turner on a great start, and now, a big preliminary thumbs down to Detroit's front office on another potentially disappointing trade with Seattle.

The previous trade I'm alluding to is obviously not the one in which Detroit received Carlos Guillen, but the one in which we sent Luke French and Mauricio Robles for an obviously downward-trending Jarrod Washburn, who did squat for Detroit and then didn't sign with another team the following year because he was done.  Robles looks like he has legitimate talent, and that trade was a waste, just terrible.

The Tigers admittedly needed rotation help (you mean Brad Penny wasn't the answer?) and I do give credit to Dave Dumbrowski (very original of me) for working towards that.  Still, they gave up waaaaaaaay too much for Doug Fister and David Pauley.  No, I don't really mind the departures of Casper Wells (now what am I gonna do with this?) and Charlie Furbush, but besides those two guys, we're losing a very good 3B prospect in Francisco Martinez (Detroit's #4 prospect)
AND apparently a player to be named later, rumored to be one of last year's top-three picks.  While I seriously doubt it wasn't top pick Nick Castellanos (also a 3B), that means it's either Chance Ruffin or Drew Smyly, both of whom are pitchers.  WHY?!  Goddammit, Dumbrowski, stop trading all of our good prospects for nothing.  Remember Jair Jurrjens?  You probably don't because you shipped him out of here for Edgar Renteria's non-AL-hitting ass.  And it's not like we're sitting pretty at the 3B position right now--Inge literally forgot how to hit, Betemit is only a stop-gap, Don Kelly has positional A.D.D., and you don't want to be putting all your eggs in the Castellanos basket when he's this young.  This is just another questionable front office move this year, with another big one being the Scott Sizemore swindling trade by Oakland.

Listen, I want to see Detroit win first and foremost, and I understand that sometimes you've got to deal your prospects for big league team help, I really don't feel like we got much better here for what we gave up, and frankly I can't wait for a new regime change in Detroit when we fail to make the playoffs yet again this year in a very weak AL Central.  Fortunately, while I still have to wait less than a day to make it official, it looks like the bright future of Jacob Turner will be enjoyed by Detroit's fans, not another team's, for the near future.  Here's to many more Turner starts, maybe even as soon as next year!


  1. Congrats on reaching a milestone post!

  2. I was puzzled by the front office sending Martinez, but that aside we did get a decent reliever under team control for a few years. Hopefully he'll do better than Coke, god he blows. Fister will also be under team control for a few years and is much better than Penny. However I believe with the Indians getting Jiminez it'll be the Tigers that fade....

  3. We all know that it's hard to know for sure how prospects will pan out. I hope the kid can play 3B, our part time guy in Figgins at 3rd is god awful.
    I think you will be very happy with Fister. I was pissed when I saw they traded him yesterday. His record is not good, but he has lowest run support of any starter in MLB this year. In most games the M's give him 1 or no runs at all to work with.
    Pauley has been really solid out of the pen this year. He has had a couple rough goes lately, but has really done well as a set up guy this year.
    I've heard rumblings that the 4th guy may be Smyly. I'm still waiting to see Robles make it up to the big club, I think that kid has a future.
    BIG CONGRATS ON #200!!