Detroit Tigers to give former 1st round pick an extended look

With the ninth pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, the Detroit Tigers selected Jacob Turner, a right-handed pitcher out of Westminster Christian Academy in Town and Country, Missouri. The hope was that Turner would develop into a future Tigers ace, but that hope never came to fruition…at least not yet. Nine years later, the former No. 1 prospect is about to get another chance as he has been called up to start on Tuesday against Mike Trout and the Angels. Tigers GM Al Avila has said Turner, who is now 27, will get the start on Tuesday and then remain in the rotation moving forward. Avila’s hope is that Turner can stick. He will replace Mike Fiers in the rotation after Fiers was traded to Oakland for two players to be named later.

By 2011, Turner was well on his way to living up to his billing as he was the No. 1 prospect in Detroit’s minor league system and the No. 21 prospect in all of baseball. In June of that season, he made his Major League debut with the Tigers against the Baltimore Orioles. During that start, Turner gave up four earned runs in just three innings of work as the Orioles defeated the Tigers 6-5. Following that start, he was sent back down to the minor leagues before getting called back up when rosters expanded in September of that season. During that season, Turner started three games for the Tigers, going 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA.

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In July of 2012, Turner was dealt to the Marlins as part of a package that brought Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit. After bouncing between the Chicago Cubs, White Sox, and then the Washington Nationals, Turner found himself back with the Marlins for the 2018 campaign. His second stint in South Beach did not pan out either as he posted a 15.88 ERA in four appearances before being designated for assignment on April 8th and then released on June 2nd.

The Tigers did not wait long to pounce as they signed Turner to a minor league contract on June 5th. Since then, he has pitched for Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mud Hens. In 11 starts, he is 2-4 with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Now Turner will be given what could be his final shot to stick on a Major League roster as the Tigers have given him a second chance. He is certainly young enough to turn things around but only time will tell if Turner has it in him to make it happen.

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