Tigers’ Jacob Turner shut down with dead arm

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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.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.