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Turner will start for Smyly on Sunday

Turner will start for Smyly on Sunday

Turner will start for Smyly on Sunday
DETROIT -- After getting roughed up and lasting only two innings in Tuesday night's 13-0 loss to the Angels, it was unknown if right-hander Jacob Turner would be given another start in the Majors. That, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, hinged on the health of Drew Smyly. On Wednesday, Leyland said it was determined the injured left-hander would not be ready.

"[He's] not good enough to pitch Sunday," said Leyland of Smyly, who is on the 15-day disabled list due to a right intercostal strain.

Therefore, the skipper named Turner the starter in the series finale against the White Sox.

Turner is ranked by MLB.com as the Tigers' No. 1 prospect. His first start of the season was promising, as he held the defending World Series champion Cardinals to one run in five innings. His second start didn't go well, as the Angels pegged the 21-year-old for six hits and seven runs.

Turner is happy to get another opportunity.

"Anytime I can go out there and throw, it's good," Turner said. "You don't want to go out there and do what I did last night, but at the same time, it's going to happen in this game."

For Smyly, he continues to experience discomfort in his right side. His injury sprang up in the fifth inning of a 10-strikeout performance against the Royals on July 6. He remained in the game, but it was determined the following day that he'd need a stint on the DL, his second of the year.

"It's just the same thing. ... Nothing's changed since I went on the DL," Smyly said. "It's gotten a lot better, but it's still just like a nagging injury. You can't rush it or it will come back like what happened with [Doug] Fister earlier this year. You got to make sure it's gone first, so I'm taking all precautions."

Smyly will be eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, but that's obviously out of the question with Leyland naming Turner as his starter. After Sunday, the next time the rotation comes around to Smyly's turn would be July 28. But Leyland wouldn't pencil him in for that yet.

"I can't really tell you. I don't really know," said Leyland about when Smyly will be ready. "This is going to get to the point where he's going to miss his second start. Is he going to have to then go out and pitch somewhere [on a rehab assignment]? I don't know right now."

Smyly hopes that won't be the case. He's already been forced to miss time his rookie season with a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. However, drawing from Fister's experience, he knows he can't push it.

"I'm trying to get back out there as soon as I can," he said. "It's just something you can't rush. It's one of those things you could wake up tomorrow and it could feel better or it's still nagging right there. You just don't know."

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