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Derrick Turnbow and the 'exploding' big toe

Mar 1, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

Derrick Turnbow is so determined to win a spot on the Marlins’ pitching staff that the big toe on his left foot being “a bloody mess” yesterday didn’t stop him from throwing a bullpen session:

“My toenail jammed up in my shoe about a week ago and it caused it to swell up,” Turnbow said. “It got infected and it affected my command a lot the first two times I was out. I didn’t say anything. Today, it busted open and all the blood came out. It felt better immediately.”



Turnbow’s toe exploded just before he stepped onto the bullpen mound. The pitcher removed his left sock to allow a trainer to apply a bandage, then began throwing and feeling better than ever. Marlins outfielder Cody Ross described Turnbow’s toe as “disgusting” when the pitcher showed it to him recently.

And to think everyone made such a big deal about Curt Schilling’s bloody sock.
Now that his toe has “busted open” and “exploded” into “a bloody mess” Turnbow believes his control will improve, but his track record of historic wildness suggests otherwise. When healthy and throwing strikes Turnbow has overpowering raw stuff, but injuries and walks are why he barely pitched in 2008, was out of the majors in 2009, and is trying to win a job on a minor-league contract now.
Turnbow has the worst walk rate among all active pitchers with at least 250 career innings, handing out a ridiculous 5.87 free passes per nine innings. He’s given up almost as many walks (168) as hits (206) during his career, including 63 walks in 30.2 innings between the majors and minors over the past two seasons. Amazingly, exploding toes are the least of the 32-year-old right-hander’s problems.

  1. Ben - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Wow, I have to give that guy credit, he’s tough. There are a lot of guys who have absolutely nasty raw stuff (Farnsworth) but have control or injury problems (or both as in this case) and therefore will never be nearly as good as they could be. People always underestimate how hard it is to teach control, even to someone with great stuff. By the way, have you ever thought of doing any chats?

  2. JBerardi - Mar 1, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    “”It got infected and it affected my command a lot the first two times I was out. I didn’t say anything…”

    Smart. Ignore the trainers that the team plays to take care of this stuff for you, and risk your season on a damned toe… and failing that, Turnbow should at least know the old hot-paperclip trick.

  3. peteinfla - Mar 1, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    “Turnbow has the worst walk rate among all active pitchers with at least 250 career innings, handing out a ridiculous 5.87 free passes per nine innings.”
    So how could he tell ifit effected his control? Did some of his pitches actually find the strike zone?
    Let’s all be glad it was just his toe! Imagine the headline if he had a Genital wart or Herpes!

  4. myob - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    i wonder what kind of stats (in anything) you people have. just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you have to share it.

  5. Oliver - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    Yeah! Why would people share their opinions in the ‘Comments’ section on a website! Stupid internets

  6. Evan - Mar 5, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Derrick Turnbow is the man!! Still pitching with a hurt toe, he’s a tough guy. He will be back better than ever this year!!

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