Turner's first start in 2012 wasn't all that bad; he pitched five innings, giving up four hits and striking out three in a 2-1 win June 21 over the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
His second start of the year... well, that didn't go quite as planned.
The Los Angeles Angels pounded the 6-foot-5, 210-pound righty in the first inning Tuesday at Comerica Park in Detroit by scoring four runs in what became a 13-0 victory. The second inning wasn't much better, either. Turner gave up three more runs and left Duane Below to battle back from a 7-0 deficit.
But before Tigers followers completely torch Turner on the Web, they should keep in mind that he's a 21-year-old kid who could use more time -- considerably more time -- in the minors. He's up with the Tigers because the pitching herd is rather thin.
Turner was recalled from Toledo this week because of an injury to rookie lefty Drew Smyly. Not awful with the Toledo Mud Hens, Turner notched a 4-2 record and 3.16 earned-run average in 10 starts with the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate.
Again, he's a kid that needs time to grow. He's being thrown to wolves right now. Once proclaimed as Detroit's top pitching prospect, games like Tuesday's against the Angels can serve as positive motivation, an example to use for future reference.
Or, games like Tuesday's can break confidence. Turner could find himself questioning his abilities after being roughed-up by one of the AL's most-potent trio of hitters in Pujols, Trumbo and Trout. But he shouldn't. He's a good pitcher. His numbers with Toledo show that. But those numbers also show that there is plenty of room to grow.
The Tigers (47-44) didn't extend their season-high six-game winning streak to seven games. That's not the end of the world. Tuesday was a pressure-packed situation for Turner, who, obviously, wasn't ready.
But give him time.
Adam Biggers has followed Major League Baseball for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Tigers. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
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