Mar 9, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jacob Turner (33) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Marlins: Jacob Turner in danger of losing rotation spot?

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Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond sounded concerned when he talked about starter Jacob Turner‘s struggles this spring.

“Definitely a concern,” Redmond said before today’s game against the Yankees.

With the Marlins off on Thursday, Turner made a start in a minor league game in Jupiter against the St. Louis Cardinals’ Class AAA team. Turner walked three hitters and surrendered a couple of runs in his three inning performance.

With that start not included, Turner has not been especially sharp this spring. He has pitched 3 1/3 total innings and allowed six earned runs and walked four hitters. Turner has also hit a batter and struck out just two. His spring ERA is at 16.2o

“I’m concerned about him,” Redmond said. He still has a couple of more outings so hopefully he can get it going. He just struggled. Mostly command problems.”

Turner will make his third start against the Cardinals on Tuesday (yes the Marlins play them too much). Redmond hopes to see some improvement, or Turner could be in danger of losing his rotation spot, as the Marlins appear to have some options.

Kevin Slowey has had an excellent spring to this point. He had made five appearances (one start). In those appearances, Slowey has pitched 13 2/3 innings, allowing just four earned runs, good for an ERA of 2.63. Slowey has struck out 13 hitters in his 13 2/3 innings, while just walking four.

Slowey owns a career 4.66 ERA in 532 2/3 major league innings. He has exellent command, as he has only walked 84 hitters in those 500+ innings.

Wade LeBlanc is the favorite to win the Marlins fifth starter role, but he could be bumped up to number four and Slowey would be slotted fifth if Turner continues to struggle.

In my personal opinion, the Marlins might be better off with Turner pitching in Triple-A to start the season. He has pitched to some mild success in the Majors so far in his young career and some seasoning in the minors would not hurt him.

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