With a number of young arms to accommodate and only so many starts left, it’s going to be fun to see how the Chicago Cubs manage to get innings for new additions like Jacob Turner, Dan Straily and Felix Doubront.
Turner, 23, was acquired from the Marlins for a couple low-level minor leaguers when Miami surprisingly designated Turner for assignment earlier this month. He took over the suspended game against the Giants on Thursday, which many saw as an indication that he would be the first of those three young arms to be inserted into the rotation on a semi-permanent basis (also because he cannot be optioned to the minors and was already healthy, in the Cubs’ pen) as soon as a spot opened up.
Which, yes, he will.
The spot didn’t take long to open up, as the very same day, Edwin Jackson was placed on the disabled list with a strained lat. Now the Cubs have confirmed it is Turner who will take Jackson’s spot in the rotation, starting against the Reds next Wednesday (ESPN).
The hope has been for Turner to be a starter, though he hadn’t been able to turn the corner with the Tigers and then Marlins after being a top draft pick and a top prospect, and there’s always a chance he could become a quality reliever. His development path was arguably a bit rushed, thanks to a big league contract out of high school, and perhaps the Cubs will have better luck realizing his potential.
Depending on how the rest of the rotation shakes out, and on how long Jackson’s injury keeps him down, Turner could stick in the rotation the rest of the season for the Cubs. From there, it’s likely he’ll be part of a fairly large competition for a rotation spot in the Spring. You’ve gotta love his upside, though, which is probably not front-of-the-rotation, but is solidly in the middle somewhere.