The Miami Marlins set a innings cap of 170 innings for rookie phenom Jose Fernandez before the season, whether he was pitching the Majors or in Double-A Jacksonville. Fernandez is at 158 2/3 innings after his six inning performance against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
Saturday could mark one of Turner’s final starts this season, as he’s a candidate to be shut down around 170-180 innings. The 22-year-old righty has thrown 154 1/3 innings this year between his 16 starts for the Marlins and the time he spent with Triple-A New Orleans at the beginning of the year. Last season, Turner threw 166 2/3 total innings.
After being a first round pick by the Detroit Tigers, Turner was rushed through the Tigers organization and had a couple of arm injuries that kept him off of the mound. Before last season, his career high in innings pitched in a single season was 130 innings in 2011 between Double-A and Triple-A.
The Marlins are likely to take a cautious approach with the right hander, making sure they keep his arm fresh in upcoming seasons to keep him in their rotation for the long term.
Shutting down Turner may not ultimately stop the righty from getting hurt in the future, but as Michael Jong pointed out on Fishstripes when discussing how the Mets used Harvey before his injury, Turner is more prone to injury than a typical pitcher:
(Side note: Jacob Turner is also on that list right next to Fernandez, and given Turner’s recent struggles, it would not surprise me if we hear about an injury, mild or otherwise, in the near future.)
Tonight could very well be among the final starts of the season for Turner. If the team does decide to shut him down, they have two options in the minors that are expected to be called up as soon as tomorrow, in Brad Hand and Brian Flynn. One of the two will likely take Jose Fernandez’s spot and the other will likely be stretched out in the pen until the Marlins shut Turner down.