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05/01/08 2:33 PM ET
Brewers mulling what to do with Turnbow
GM Melvin contemplating a demotion, but holding off for now
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- A day game precluded any snap moves on Thursday, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ned Yost spent part of the morning mulling what to do about reliever Derrick Turnbow's continuing command issues. They emerged from Yost's office with nothing to report. "Nothing at this time," Melvin said. "He didn't have a good game [Wednesday]. Go get 'em today. "What do you want me to do, make a move right now, today?" Melvin said. "When we make a move, we'll let you know. It's not fair to Derrick Turnbow to tell the media what we're doing before we talk to Derrick Turnbow. If there's any move, we'll let you know. We've got to look at how the club is and see if we can fix a spot here or there." Turnbow is earning $3.2 million in the final season of a three-year contract. He is out of Minor League options and, were the Brewers to make a move, he could refuse an outright assignment to the Minors but would forfeit the roughly $2.56 million left on his contract. "I think he's pressing mentally a little bit," Yost said. "He just needs to give himself a little bit of a break. Relax a little bit. Just continue to keep working through it. I can just give him opportunity, stay positive with him, encourage him and give him opportunity when it presents itself for him to get the job done." Yost added: "This is definitely a performance-based business." The Brewers currently have 13 pitchers on the roster. They just sent starter Dave Bush, who has some relief experience, to Triple-A Nashville, but he has to remain there for another week before he's eligible for a recall. And one good outing can change everything, Yost said. Turnbow seemed to turn a corner on April 23, when he pitched a scoreless inning against the Phillies for his first save in precisely a year, but in two outings since, Turnbow has issued six walks and allowed five hits in two-thirds of an inning. He has walked at least one batter in all eight of his appearances this season and is 0-1 with a 15.63 ERA. Last year, Turnbow limited opponents to a .183 batting average; this year, they are hitting .414. When he entered Wednesday's game for an inning of mop-up duty, the Brewers trailed, 13-5, and Turnbow was asked to record the Cubs' final three outs. Instead, he walked four batters, gave up four hits and six runs and forced Yost to use left-hander Mitch Stetter for the final out of the eighth inning. "It's tough for relief pitchers," Melvin said. "Some hitter that hits .170 for three weeks, nobody stands up and boos him, right? A starting pitcher goes out and has two or three bad outings in a row, nobody gets on him because he gets to keep the ball and start. Boy, when you're a relief pitcher, it's tough. ... Bullpen guys should wear earplugs."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.