Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Dave Roberts Doesn’t See Trea Turner Stealing as Many Bases

Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner is a man of many talents. He’s a true five-tool player, but his running ability is by far his strongest skill. Turner’s lightning-quick speed is legendary. It’s also the reason he’s stolen at least 32 bases in every 162-game season he’s played and led the NL in the category twice. In 2016 alone, he stole 33 bases in only 73 games.

This season, Turner appears to be set to bat third in the Dodgers deep batting order. That would presumably place him behind Freddie Freeman. Freeman is a former league MVP, but he’s by no means a burner like Turner.

OC Register’s Bill Plunkett provided manager Dave Roberts’ thoughts on how Freeman hitting ahead of Turner could mitigate some stolen base opportunities for the shortstop. 

“I don’t think Freddie is a (base) clogger. Could Trea steal 40, 50 bases? Sure. I don’t know if that’s the best thing for him or for us. I think there’s going to be plenty of opportunities to have Trea on base when Freddie is not on base in front of him. I don’t think it’s going to affect him or his dynamic ability or the roster and our potential to score runs.”

Based on Doc’s comments, it doesn’t sound like Turner will have the green light as often as he’s likely used to. 

Shuffling the order around could loosen up the traffic jam ahead of Turner, but the 2021 batting champion was at his best offensively last year in the three-spot. He posted a 1.028 OPS when batting third compared to .944 when batting second and .851 when leading off.

Trea will still be a terror on the base paths, but won’t be running as wild as usual.

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  1. I disagree with Dave Roberts when he justifies hitting Freeman before Trea Turner and says, “I don’t think Freddie is a base clogger”. Anytime T. Turner gets on first base with Freeman on second (this could happen 100 to 150 times in a season) Turner’s tremendous baserunning ability is reduced to mediocrity and the Dodgers, as a team, will suffer. Batting Freeman before T. Turn produces two negative effects. One; Freeman’s opportunities to drive in runs is substantially reduced because he does not have Turner on base in front of him up to 200 times, and two; Turner’s opportunities to score are greatly reduced because Freeman is not available to drive him in and, in fact, becomes a roadblock to Turner’s baserunning abilities. Batting Freeman third and Turner first (preferably) or second solves the problems.
    Jim Johnson

  2. This should not be an issue. Print the lineup cards with Freddie at 2 and TT at 3. Slashing .356 /.412 /.615 in the 3 slot makes it the correct choice. Also, TT should always have a green light. Come on, Dave.

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