WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Jacob Turner's battle to earn a spot in the Marlins' starting rotation took a momentary step back on Thursday. The non-roster invitee, who signed a Minor League contract with Miami in December, was scheduled to start, but he was scratched with flu-like symptoms."We've seen it
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Jacob Turner's battle to earn a spot in the Marlins' starting rotation took a momentary step back on Thursday. The non-roster invitee, who signed a Minor League contract with Miami in December, was scheduled to start, but he was scratched with flu-like symptoms.
"We've seen it coming. We've been planning for a couple of days," said manager Don Mattingly. "He started feeling bad the other day."
In his place, the Marlins brought right-hander Nick Neidert over from Minor League camp to make his first start and second appearance for the club this spring. He yielded three runs on two hits and walked five in 1 2/3 innings in the Marlins' 15-7 win over the Astros.
Mattingly said he believes that Turner is progressing, but he did not commit to when or if the right-hander would make another start this spring.
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"He's feeling better today. He'll play some catch today, and we'll see how he handles it," Mattingly said. "We feel like we're getting past it.
"Today will tell us where we go. If this goes good today and he's still feeling even better, we'll go from there. The one thing we don't want to do is push him a little early. We'd rather get him healthy."
This would be the second go-around for Turner with Miami. He pitched for the Marlins in parts of three seasons (2012-14), posting a record of 8-19 over 47 appearances (39 starts). He started 20 games for the Marlins in '13, so he's certainly not an unknown to the organization and missing a start isn't going to make or break his chances at earning a slot in the starting rotation.
"At this point, he's ready," Mattingly said. "I think he's shown us at this point he either is or isn't. It's not about the last time he throws a baseball."
A former first-round Draft pick (ninth overall) of the Tigers in 2009, Turner is still working to reach his potential. He went 2-3 with a 5.08 ERA in 18 games (two starts) with Washington last season, and over six Major League seasons, he has compiled a 14-30 record with a 5.09 ERA in 97 games (55 starts).
"He's still young, and he's been around a little bit," Mattingly said. "Obviously, he's a guy that started out with a tremendously high ceiling and hadn't really gotten to that. We still think his arm is good. We still think there's room for him to grow with different parts of his game."
Mattingly classified Turner as a "diamond in the rough."
"We still feel like the potential is still there to be a guy that's quality for us," Mattingly said.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.