The Miami Marlins have demoted Jacob Turner to the bullpen in order to make room for recently promoted starter Andrew Heaney in the rotation, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Turner, 23, has struggled badly in his second year as a starter with Miami, also missing a number of starts due to a shoulder injury. Acquired from the Tigers in 2012 as part of the deal that sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, he quickly became one of the most promising pitchers in the entire Marlins organization.
After a solid 2013 that saw Turner post a 3.74 ERA with 77 strikeouts and 54 walks in 20 starts with Miami, he was expected to be one of the top pitchers on the team this season. Instead, he’s completely imploded, allowing a 6.38 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 14 walks over nine appearances.
With Heaney knocking on the door and Turner in need of a shake-up, the bullpen move does seem like the next logical step before a demotion. Surely the Marlins would rather not send Turner back to Triple-A unless it’s truly needed, and given the right-hander’s solid stuff, pitching out of relief might be able to get him back on track.
Meanwhile, Heaney will likely give the Marlins’ starting rotation a nice boost in the short-term. Over 13 appearances (including 12 starts) split between Double-A and Triple-A, the 23-year-old has a 2.47 ERA with 79 strikeouts and 15 walks. He’s not much younger than Turner, though, and the duo — along with a healthy Jose Fernandez — could end up leading Miami’s rotation in time.