'Caps at the Midwest League All-Star Game

Over six thousand fans flocked to beautiful Parkview Field on Tuesday, the year old home of the 2009 Midwest Leauge Champion Ft. Wayne TinCaps, to see an All Star Game that has in the past showcased players such as Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, and Alex Rodriguez. This year, the focus prior to the game was put mostly on Loons OF Jerry Sands, Cedar Rapids OF Mike Trout, and Whitecaps RHP Jacob Turner.

At the end of the day, the game was a blowout, as the Eastern division, led by a powerful first inning two run blast to right field by Sands, went on to beat down the West, 6-2.

Turner (2-3, 3.67), who represented the Whitecaps along with LHP Giovanny Soto (5-4, 2.05), spent one inning on the mound, allowing no runs. Soto made an appearance in the sixth inning, and, like Turner, held the West scoreless.

After the game, Turner talked about how great it was to play with the best in the Midwest League.

"It's obviously fun to play against the best guys in the league," Turner said. "It was cool to play against a lot of guys I played against in high school."

However, Turner will not be opposing many of these players again for a while, as he, along with 'Caps 1B Jordan Lennerton, has been promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers, something he did not know about at the time.

Prior to the game, it was mentioned on many separate occasions that Turner was a future Major League Baseball star.

"It is what it is. They can say whatever they want, but at the end of the day, you have to make it to the big leagues," Turner said with a grin. "I try not to worry about what other people think: I go out there and do my thing and be who I am on the mound."

Who Turner has proven to be so far is a top-notch pitcher that simply needs more experience. Although he has a record of 2-3, and an ERA of 3.67, he has been great on the mound all season, striking out fifty one, while only giving up nine walks.

Without Turner on the mound in Comstock Park, many fans will probably be looking to the other 'Caps All Star. And, although you probably shouldn't bet your house on it, it's probably fair to think that Soto will be able to fill in nicely.

Even with Turner on the staff, Soto has become the surprise ace for West Michigan, as he boasts one of the best ERA's in the Midwest League, a filthy 2.05.

Turner said that the lead created in the first inning made it a little less stressful to go out and pitch in the third.

"Whenever you're pitching with a lead, you know that if there's a runner on third base, it's not the end of the world if he scores," Turner said. "We had a lot of good offensive guys and a lot of good arms."

When asked about what it meant to be on an All Star team, Turner credited the effort he's put into consistent pitching as a big reason he's reached the point that he's currently at.

"Whenever you make an All Star team, it means you're doing something right. Hopefully there are many more to come," Turner said. "I've felt like I've become more consistent on the mound, and that was my goal when I started spring training. I always want to be improving."

He must be doing something right, because many people in baseball are predicting that we could see Turner on the mound for the Tigers as early as 2012.

Whether or not this is true, Turner was simply happy to represent his now former team in Ft. Wayne.

"There were only two of us here, so we wanted to represent the Whitecaps well, and represent the Tigers well," Turner said.

The Whitecaps resume play this Friday, as they kick off the second half on the season by putting Soto, their only remaining All Star, on the mound against the first half champion Lake County Captains. The game is also the second installment of Tigers Fridays, as former major leaguers Ozzie Virgil and Juan Berenguer will be making a visit to the ballpark.


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