March 27, 2013

Miami Marlins’ Jacob Turner shipped to minors

It’s up to Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner to refine his mechanics, and he’ll be doing so with Triple A New Orleans.

It’s up to Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner to refine his mechanics, and he’ll be doing so with Triple A New Orleans.

The 21-year-old right-hander cleaned out his locker in the major league camp’s clubhouse and was optioned to the Zephyrs on Tuesday morning.

“No matter where you’re pitching, you just want to do well. At this point, I wasn’t able to show what I am as a pitcher,” he said. “It’s not going to stop me from going down there, working on getting better and getting back up here as soon as I can.”

Turner labored through 13 innings in four starts with the Marlins in the Grapefruit League, finishing with a 0-3 record, nine walks, five strikeouts and a 9.69 ERA.

“We’ve laid it out and made it very clear that we see him in our plans pitching in this rotation,” manager Mike Redmond said. “But he’s got to go down [to New Orleans] and pound the strike zone and work on his command. When he does that, he’ll be back.”

• Redmond announced his rotation after the team’s morning warmup, noting that Turner’s fate was a tough one. As expected, the Marlins’ starters are: Ricky Nolasco , Nathan Eovaldi , Wade LeBlanc , Henderson Alvarez and Kevin Slowey .

Slowey, 29, hasn’t pitched in a major-league game since Sept. 26, 2011, with Minnesota. Redmond likes that he can see the same pitcher he once caught with the Twins, dating back to Slowey’s debut in 2007.

“I think he’s going to be a big part of our rotation going out there and pounding the strike zone,” Redmond said. “Hopefully, that consistency will rub off on some of our younger pitchers, where they see how he attacks hitters without having a 95-mph fastball.”

The manager is happy with how Slowey has found his confidence in spite of injury in his career. He went from a Twins staple with three consecutive double-digit win seasons from 2008 to 2010, to falling out of the majors completely in 2012.

With Slowey once considered to be the long man in the bullpen, Redmond has to keep tooling his ideas with how to make things work.

“We don’t have the luxury of being able to throw guys out there for one inning,” he said.

• The Marlins also announced seven additional roster moves Tuesday. Left-handed pitcher Dan Jennings will join Turner in Triple A, while infielders Nick Green , Kevin Kouzmanoff and Matt Downs , outfielder Jordan Brown and left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips have been reassigned to minor-league camp. Outfielder Matt Diaz was signed to a minor-league contract after he was released from the New York Yankees. Diaz, 35, was hitting .200 with New York this spring.

Redmond confirmed that Casey Kotchman , Austin Kearns and Chad Qualls have all made the Opening Day roster, according to Tuesday’s noon deadline for decisions on players under Article XX(B) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

With Jennings and Phillips out of major-league camp, the only remaining left-handed pitcher currently in camp for the bullpen is Mike Dunn .

Dunn pitched two innings of relief, allowing a home run in Tuesday’s 8-5 win over the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.

The Nationals’ Dan Haren gave up four home runs to the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton went deep twice for his second and third of the spring, and Chris Coghlan and Chris Valaika homered in the victory.

Alvarez gave up four runs (one earned) in five innings. He matched his career-high in strikeouts with seven and walked two.

• Marlins fans will get a glimpse of the future when Justin Nicolino pitches in Thursday’s final spring game in Jupiter. The 21-year-old was acquired in the November blockbuster trade with Toronto. He had a 2.46 ERA in Class A Lansing (Mich.) and stuck out 119 batters in 124 1/3 innings.

Coming up

•  Wednesday: Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 2.63) vs. Boston Red Sox LHP Jon Lester (3-0, 0.90), 1:35 p.m. Fort Myers.
•  Thursday: Marlins RHP Justin Nicolino vs. St. Louis TBD, 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.

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