Justin Turner is no stranger to being struck by a baseball, as he was hit by pitches 19 times last season, 4th in all of MLB. That isn’t exactly a stat to look forward to leading the league in, when many opposing pitchers are throwing 90-100 miles per hour.
On monday, the reigning National League Championship Series (NLCS) MVP was hit by a pitch from right-hander Kendall Graveman in the first inning of the Dodgers-Athletics game, which the Dodgers ultimately won 3-1.
Now with just 9 days until opening day, the club finds itself with the 33-year-old on the disabled list, as he has suffered a broken left wrist. Immediately after contact, Turner turned and jogged away, wincing in pain, towards the team dugout where he was met by a trainer, Turner’s hand just hanging limp at his side. Donovan Solano would come into the game in his place, and take first base.
“I was hoping the X-rays would be negative, but there’s a small non-displaced fracture,” Turner told the Associated Press.
As of now there is no set time table for the return of the Dodgers third baseman, though he does meet with doctors again later today to take the next steps in recovery. As for now, the lineup would most likely look something like this for opening day.
Logan Forsythe will most likely move over to third base, since he started 31 games over there for the club in the previous season. This leaves Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes, and Chase Utley as potential second base options. Since Matt Kemp has held his own this spring, proving he can be an everyday starter for the Dodgers (.317/.341/.659), we will most like see Utley and Hernandez splitting time at second, with Utley starting games primarily against right-handers.
This definitely shakes things up a bit for the reigning NLCS Champions, but with a strong core of talent and depth in the outfield, they are still likely to fare well in their leader’s absence.
Picture Credit: LATimes.Com; DodgerBlue.Com