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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