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.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.