Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jacob Turner pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Jacob Turner is one of the brightest pitching prospects in the American League. Unfortunately, now he could miss time with an injury that the Tigers can't quite identify.
Jacob Turner won't turn 21 until May, and has been considered one of the brightest prospects in the Detroit Tigers organization. He was first on many lists of "prospects rival GMs demand in unrealistic trade scenarios for veteran pitchers".
He'd been expected to compete for a spot in the Tigers rotation. You might be thinking, just by reading this, that there's a problem with that, and you'd be right. Jason Beck:
Tigers top prospect Jacob Turner, whose candidacy for Detroit’s fifth starter spot has been a struggle through the last couple outings, has been shut down from throwing for a week with what head athletic trainer Kevin Rand called tendinitis in his right shoulder.
This can't be good, especially for a pitcher so young. Beck's article goes on to say that Tigers manager Jim Leyland claims Turner has "dead arm", a phrase not much heard in modern baseball. Rand tries to elaborate:
"Dead arm to me is just when you can’t put a finger on it," Rand said. "You can’t say you’re sore in this [area], you really can’t pinpoint it, whether your arm’s tired, or you just don’t feel like it has any life. You feel like you just don’t have that pop [in your pitches]. And guys go through that in various stages.
"You don’t really hear as much of it anymore. Maybe we do a better job in assessing it, that type of thing. But players still go through it."
Translation: Turner's hurt and we don't really know what it is or why it happened, and we're really, really worried. Turner won't touch a baseball for at least a week.