Turner will rest right elbow, start season on DL

Right-hander out with mild flexor strain, bone bruise

Turner will rest right elbow, start season on DL

MESA, Ariz. -- This isn't how Cubs pitcher Jacob Turner planned his Spring Training.

Turner had some discomfort after his first, and what will likely be his only spring outing on March 5. He was diagnosed with a mild flexor strain and bone bruise on his right elbow, and will open the season on the disabled list.

Acquired in a trade with the Marlins for two Minor League pitchers last August, Turner began camp as a contender for the one vacancy in the Cubs rotation.

"I just noticed it a little bit the day after," Turner said Monday about the discomfort in his elbow. "It felt like it was something I should get checked out. This wasn't something I was looking at it possibly being. It could be worse. I'll take the time off now and not make it worse. The way they explained it to me is that if I did keep pitching, it could get worse."

The good news is that there is no ligament damage. Turner did get a second opinion, which confirmed the first diagnosis.

"I'm just going to see how it feels," he said. "The plan is four to six weeks of not throwing, and then go off how I feel. It's something that takes time."

Last season, Turner was 6-11 with a 6.13 ERA in 28 games, including a 2-4 mark and 6.49 ERA in eight games with the Cubs.

"This is definitely not how you map it out," he said. "I try to take it day to day and try to strengthen the shoulder, so when I do come back, everything is as strong as it can be."

• The Cubs assigned eight players to Minor League camp, including pitchers Pierce Johnson and Corey Black. The moves trimmed the spring roster from 61 to 53 players.

Johnson, ranked eighth on MLB.com's list of top 20 Cubs prospects, did impress manager Joe Maddon this spring.

"I really like his delivery, I like his stuff," Maddon said of the right-hander. "He's a very intense kid in certain ways. He's got an intensity about him, very driven, direct and all those good things. We talked about getting down there, getting ready for the season, getting innings in. I think everybody here believes he's a Major League pitcher and he just has to get the time under his belt."

 

Infielder Christian Villanueva and catcher Rafael Lopez were optioned to Triple-A Iowa and six non-roster invitees were assigned to Minor League camp, including Johnson, Black, pitchers Armando Rivero, Donn Roach, Hunter Cervenka and infielder Logan Watkins. Watkins has missed all of camp after injuring his Achilles on the first workout day.

With the moves, the Cubs spring roster now includes 28 pitchers (six non-roster invitees), five catchers (two non-roster invitees), 10 infielders (four non-roster invitees) and 10 outfielders (three non-roster invitees).

Kyle Hendricks will start in a "B" game Thursday against the Angels at Sloan Park, starting at 1:05 p.m. MT. The game is open to the public.

• Daniel Bard threw a simulated game Monday as he continues his comeback from thoracic outlet syndrome. Tsuyoshi Wada, sidelined with a left groin strain, was to play catch on Monday. There is no timetable for his return.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.