There was a moment before the season even started that shook an entire fan base. One high and tight fastball at one of Los Angeles’ most beloved red-headed third basemen immediately brought the worst thoughts possible. Many thought the broken wrist was a sign of things to come, and in some ways, it was. The Dodgers got out to one of their worst starts in history, falling way behind in the National League West. Then Justin Turner returned to the lineup, just making his six to eight-week time frame. All seemed saved.
And yet, here we are. Nearly halfway into June and Justin Turner has played in just five games. His wrist pain continues to haunt him, and it is taking a toll on his playing time.
Justin Turner is dealing with soreness in his previously fractured left wrist. He used a stim machine on the area this afternoon.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) June 5, 2018
It’s much more than just sitting out games though. Not having Justin Turner is one thing, but Turner not producing when he is in the lineup is especially difficult. Turner is hitting just 243 in his twenty games played. And his power has taken a huge hit. He has just one home run and four doubles to his name thus far.
So what is the best move for the Dodgers here? Fans spent weeks hoping and waiting for his return to get the team turned around. And now, it looks like the best option might be to sit him until he is healthy. Max Muncy has proven himself as an everyday player, even if his defense is not nearly as good.
Dave Roberts said Justin Turner won’t start today but is available to pinch hit and hoping he can start on Tuesday. #Dodgers
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) June 10, 2018
Muncy is hitting 272 with twelve home runs and twenty-eight runs driven in. In June alone, he is slashing an unbelievable 370/528/963 with five home runs. While Justin Turner’s absence from the lineup is alarming, it is in no way necessary to make him fight through.
Injuries have plagued the Dodgers all season long. And yet, they sit just 2.5 games out of first in the NL West. It has definitely been a “next guy up” mentality in Los Angeles. With guys like Max Muncy stepping up, everything appears to be headed in the right direction.
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