Turnbow in teammates' thoughts

Turnbow in teammates' thoughts

HOUSTON -- A number of Derrick Turnbow's teammates and coaches expressed regret this weekend that they weren't able to help the reliever get back on track.

Turnbow remains in limbo after the Brewers designated him for assignment on Friday after a series of poor performances. There is a chance he could accept an assignment to the Minor Leagues, but the Brewers also could trade or release the 30-year-old.

"I'm feeling for the guy. I was feeling his pain," reliever Salomon Torres said. "I tried to say something early in the season. I tried to get to him, because he is kind of quiet. He's very, very nice, but he is quiet and to himself. I was feeling his pain. All of us were rooting for the guy ... the bullpen and the entire team. When he was on the mound, he wasn't alone. It just wasn't working."

Turnbow was still throwing 94-96 mph fastballs, but was struggling to command them, the same issue that prompted the Angels to waive Turnbow in October 2004. The Brewers snatched him up and made him an effective closer in 2005 and the first half of 2006, but since appearing in the 2006 All-Star Game, Turnbow has been inconsistent.

He had a 15.63 ERA and 13 walks vs. five strikeouts when the Brewers made their move.

"I'm disappointed that he couldn't get back to what he was doing before, I think more disappointed than anybody else," longtime Brewers bullpen coach Bill Castro said. "I think he needs to get his mind right. His mind is plugged up with a lot of stuff, and being around here was not going to be a big help."

Castro thinks Turnbow would accept an assignment to Nashville if the Brewers could get him through irrevocable waivers. They must place him on waivers by Thursday if that's the intention.

Turnbow's Los Angeles-based agent did not return a message on Friday seeking comment on the reliever's intentions.

Torres said he has been in the same spot. He lost confidence after a poor 1997 season with the Mariners and Expos, and spent the next three seasons as a pitching coach in Montreal's system.

Guillermo Mota apparently has been there, too. Torres said Mota requested out of Cleveland in 2006, when he posted a 6.21 ERA in 34 games, but then a 1.00 ERA in 18 games with the Yankees following an Aug. 20 trade. Mota needed a similar change of scenery after last season, when he had a 5.76 ERA in 52 games with the Mets and was routinely booed at Shea Stadium.

"All of us go through struggles," Torres said. "We all need that person we can talk to, someone who can relate. ... I've been there before. I've been designated [for assignment]. I wish I could have been that guy for Turnbow.

"I remember when that guy came into the league, and he was lights-out. I was on the other side. He needs to work things out and feel comfortable on the mound, start dominating again."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.