Wanting to give Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander an extra day off before his next start, the Tigers have decided to call up top prospect Jacob Turner to make his second big-league start Thursday against the Royals.
Turner made his major league debut July 30, allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Angels. He was pitching in Double-A prior to the spot start, but he’s since been moved up to Triple-A and he’s 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA and a 20/3 K/BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings for Toledo.
With both Rick Porcello and Brad Penny sporting ERAs just over 5.00, the Tigers have to be wondering who is going to be their fourth starter in the postseason. The 20-year-old Turner is already at 136 1/3 innings this year and the Tigers probably aren’t going to want to extend him past 150 or so, but even with his extreme lack of experience, he might be a better option against teams like the Red Sox and Yankees than the Tigers’ alternatives. Unfortunately, he could well be shut down before the end of September anyway.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.