Today I have my eye on an unspectacular game between the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels, a game in which Mike Trout will not play.
Trout has a sore right wrist but reports are that he may try to play through it as soon as this weekend. He says it’s feeling better and I believe him; he hasn’t played in five games and recently got a shot of cortisone, which usually does the trick.
Trout was having the sort of season we’ve grown used to, statistically, the best in baseball but for a lousy team. Had he had that sort of year in 160 games, he would have had an excellent chance to win his third MVP award; now it’s probably a race between Jose Ramirez and one of Boston’s outfielders (but how do the voters choose).
The Angels’ offense was bad with Trout and it just may be the worst without him. In the last six games (the five Trout has missed, plus the one before when he went hitless), the Angels have scored sixteen and seven of them came in one game.
So Jacob Turner has an opportunity to pitch well in his first big league start for the team that drafted him since 2012. He hasn’t been in the minor leagues all this time; nor has he been hurt. Turner just hasn’t been able to stick anywhere since he headlined a prospect package that brought Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit from Miami in 2012.
The Tigers took him ninth overall out of North Carolina in 2009 and were patient with him before the trade. He made his big league debut against the Angels, when they were still the Anaheim Angels, in 2011 and gave up three hits and two runs in five-and-a-third innings.
The Marlins let him start from day one and he put up some good numbers in 2012 and 2013 but lost way more games than he won with dismal run support by his side. He struggled to start 2014 and the Fish sent him packing.
He didn’t do much with a chance the Cubs gave him later that year, got hurt in 2015 and failed to do anything with a chance with the White Sox in 2016.
He went through the same story with the Nationals in 2017 and even with a second chance for Miami earlier this season before the Tigers scooped him back up.
Since then, he’s made eleven starts for Toledo at Triple-A and posted decent numbers: about five innings a start, just less than a hit per inning and twice as many strikeouts as walks (low volume); his ERA is currently just over 4.00.
The Tigers traded Mike Fiers to the A’s right after finishing a series with them over the weekend and so a rotation spot has opened up and Turner will get yet another chance tonight.
He’s put up better numbers in his 60 innings with the Mud Hens than he has since 2012/2013, when he was still considered a blue-chipper. He’s just 27 years with the wisdom of a journeyman; I believe in second, third, fourth and seventh chances; and I believe in anybody going against the Angels without Trout.
Play: Under 8.5 (-105)