BRIDGEWATER, NJ- Former Somerset Patriots left-handed pitcher Nik Turley i has been promoted to the Major Leagues with the Minnesota Twins and is scheduled to make his MLB debut on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.
Turley began the 2017 season with Double-A Chattanooga, where he made five appearances (three starts) and yielded just one run over 24.1 innings pitched (0.37 ERA) with 45 strikeouts. That included a 14-strikeout performance on April 25 that tied a single-game Southern League record.
The southpaw was then promoted to Triple-A Rochester where over seven appearances (five starts), Turley went 1-2 with a 3.49 ERA and 39 strikeouts over 28.1 innings of work. In his final start with Rochester before his MLB promotion, Turley struck out 15 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre batters in just six innings of work.
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Turley joined the Twins organization after a standout 2016 season with the Somerset Patriots. The lefty went 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA over 10 appearances (eight starts) in the regular season before dazzling in his lone postseason start in which he tossed seven shutout, three-hit innings with an Atlantic League postseason-record 14 strikeouts.
The first-year Patriot made his debut in Bridgewater on July 28th, 2016 after beginning the season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox). In his second appearance with Somerset, Turley tossed three perfect innings of relief against the Long Island Ducks in which he struck out eight of the nine batters he faced. All eight strikeouts occurred consecutively, setting a new Atlantic League record for most consecutive strikeouts thrown in a game.
Overall, the La Canada, California native struck out 66 batters against 12 walks over 49 innings of work in the regular season. Additionally, Turley did not allow an earned run over his final three starts of the season (20 innings).
Turley’s promotion to the big leagues marks the second-straight season in which a Somerset Patriots’ pitcher has been promoted to the majors with the Twins. Last year, 2015 Atlantic League Reliever of the Year Buddy Boshers signed with the Twins and quickly returned to the Major Leagues on May 28th. He went 2-0 with a 4.25 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 37 appearances in the 2016 season. Boshers has allowed two runs over eight innings with Minnesota in 2017.
Turley becomes the 19th Somerset Patriot to make it to the big leagues after his time in Somerset, and third to do it in 2017; tying a team record set back in 2008. Chris Marrero (San Francisco Giants) and Tyler Cloyd (Seattle Mariners) were both promoted to the MLB level earlier this season.
It took Cloyd just 24 days after his contract was purchased from Somerset to make it back to the majors. For Turley, the promotion comes a little over two months into his first season in the Twins organization after finishing 2016 with the Somerset Patriots.
The newest member of the Twins owns a career 53-48 record over 10 seasons in minor league baseball with a 3.42 ERA and 807 strikeouts over 812.2 innings on the mound.