Turner shows signs of potential, progress to be made
JUPITER, Fla. -- With Marlins right-hander Jacob Turner, it isn't a matter of pure stuff. The question remains command.
Turner's first Grapefruit League start on Monday against the Astros was another example of some mixed results.
"He's one of those guys -- no telling how good this guy can be," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He has the ability to make guys swing and miss. What I saw was a tighter breaking ball today than I've seen in the past. You just look at the crispness of the way the ball was coming out of his hand, and it looked good."
To the first two batters, Turner's fastball was 92-95 mph, and his slider was 82-83 mph. Both are good readings. His changeup is a work in progress, and he needs to slow it down a bit to create some separation from his fastball. His changeup was clocked at 87-89 mph.
Where Turner got in trouble on Monday came in the first inning. With the count full to Marc Krauss, Turner grooved a 92-mph fastball, which was promptly deposited over the wall in right field.
The solo homer was the lone run Turner allowed in two innings in Miami's 4-0 loss.
"You're going to leave pitches up," Turner said. "I left one up, and he got me."
Turner was more upset at himself for not putting Krauss away after getting ahead 1-2 in the count.
The 6-foot-5 Turner projects to be Miami's fourth starter, but the job isn't automatically his. But chances are, he will be because he is out of options, and the organization would risk losing him if he didn't make the Opening Day roster.
Turner also is striving to avoid the pitfalls he had last year in Spring Training, when his ERA was 9.69 in 13 innings.
The 22-year-old isn't getting caught up in last year.
"Really, it's like any other spring," he said. "Go out there and get ready for the season."
On Monday, Turner was heeding the advice of pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.
"Fastball command," Turner said. "Everything builds off that. That's what Chuck preaches to all of us, being able to throw your fastball to both sides of the plate. If you can do that, a lot of things will go your way."