Turner activated, returns from hamstring injury in DH role
by Rowan Kavner
The Dodgers get a boost to their offense as they try to stave off the Padres from the division’s top spot.
Justin Turner was activated Tuesday and will be batting third in the designated hitter role. Manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that Turner will likely stay in a DH role for his first three or four games back from a left hamstring strain before returning to his typical spot at third base.
“I’m excited for Justin. I’m excited for the team,” Roberts said. “I just know he’s been chomping at the bit to get back in there. The quality of at-bat, just seeing him back in there with us, makes us considerably better.”
Turner missed 14 games with the left hamstring strain, which occurred Aug. 28 on a stolen base. In 32 games with the Dodgers this year, Turner was slashing .282/.384/.410 with two home runs. The Dodgers optioned reliever Josh Sborz to make room for Turner.
The 33–15 Dodgers have the fifth-best offense by OPS (.807) this year, scoring the third-most runs in baseball. After losing Turner in the lineup, the Dodgers went 9–5 and were tied for ninth in runs scored. But they’ve lost five of their last eight games, with two of their wins coming in extra innings.
“I still think we’re playing good baseball,” Turner said. “We’re still winning games, and there’s never a feeling of satisfaction in our clubhouse no matter how good or bad we’re playing.”
Turner said the offense has been outstanding scoring runs late in games but needs to find a way to get on the board earlier as well. His addition could help in that regard.
The Dodgers enter tonight’s matchup 1 1/2 games ahead of the Padres in the National League West. The two teams are tied for the season series at four games apiece.
“I’m feeling good,” Turner said. “Been going through a lot of tests, spent a lot of time in the training room trying to get back, get ready, and excited to be back out there tonight.”
Today marks 40 years since Fernando Valenzuela made his Major League debut. Valenzuela pitched in 10 games in relief in 1980 before dazzling in 1981, winning Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year honors.
“Fernando, on many levels, has impacted not only the Mexican community, Major League Baseball, the Dodgers, he’s just such a good man,” Roberts said. “I didn’t realize it’s been 40 years. That’s crazy. For him to still be on the Spanish-language broadcast, he just kind of paved the way.”
Roberts said the Dodgers have two players in Mexico natives, and fellow left-handed pitchers, Julio Urías and Victor González who idolize Valenzuela.
“He was a trailblazer, trendsetter, whatever you want to call it, but just what a great Dodger,” Roberts said.
Turner activated, returns from hamstring injury in DH role was originally published in Dodger Insider on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.