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|
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)
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
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!