The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the San Francisco Giants by 3.5 games for first place in the National League West, but with six more games remaining between the two teams, repeating as division champions is far from guaranteed.
Carl Crawford and Clayton Kershaw discussed not getting comfortable until clinching as the final month of the regular season is only days away. For Justin Turner, playing meaningful games in September will be a first.
Turner discussed his excitement and some of the changes that come with the regular season winding down, via Jill Painter of the LA Daily News:
It’s a different feeling in September,” Turner said. “Having something to play for changes in September. There’s a lot more matchups with rosters expanding. There’s a lot more managing with longer rosters and younger players.
As for the league-wide promotion of players from the Minors in September, Turner sees value in what they bring to the table:
The younger guys are coming up for the first time, and they don’t know any better. They bring a good energy.”
Among the players expected to be called up for the Dodgers are Alex Guerrero and Joc Pederson. Guerrero was signed in the off-season with the idea he’d fill the need at second base, while Pederson is considered one of the organization’s top-three prospects.
As for Turner, he’ll be looking to build on what’s been a successful month of August. With Juan Uribe sidelined by another right hamstring issue, Turner once again stepped in and has performed well.
In his first season with the Dodgers, Turner is hitting a career-high .326 and .420 with runners in scoring position. Turner’s signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers in the off-season and it’s a decision that’s paid off for both parties.
Turner is on track to experience postseason baseball for the first time in his career and the Dodgers have benefitted from him contributing as bench player and starter.
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