Detroit’s top prospect is rapidly falling out of the mix for a rotation spot.
Jacob Turner, who gave up six runs — five earned — in 1 2/3 innings Monday against the Mets, has been shut down for a few days due to a “dead-arm period,” said manager Jim Leyland.
Though he’s just 20, Turner looked like the favorite to act as the Tigers’ fifth starter at the start of camp. Now it’s Andrew Oliver, who has pitched seven scoreless innings in official games and three more in an exhibition against a college team earlier this month. Drew Smyly, who has allowed one run in four innings, is also in the mix.
Turner got brought up in most the Tigers’ trade talks over the winter, with several teams trying to pry him away. The ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft, he had a 3.44 ERA and a 110/35 K/BB ratio in 131 innings between Double- and Triple-A last year. He went 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA in three late starts for Detroit.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.