With the 2021 postseason on the horizon, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has made another amendment to the batting lineup, this time moving his veteran third baseman Justin Turner to sixth in the order.
This is no indictment on Turner, who’s struggled over the last few weeks, rather, it’s about providing different looks and creating opportunities for his players according to Roberts.
In place of Turner in the five hole, will be slugging catcher Will Smith.
“I just want to give him a different look,” Roberts said of Turner. “I think that, obviously, he’s been grinding and hasn’t been getting the results.”
The Dodgers skipper sees a versatile lineup as a good thing for his club and feels that it can only benefit an already strong one through nine.
“It just continues to make a really good lineup, really good, I think, if guys are interchangeable,” Roberts said.
Roberts credited the 2021 All-Star for his reception to the lineup adjustment and his overall commitment to helping Los Angeles win games.
“I talked to Justin about it just to give him a heads up and it doesn’t bother him,” Roberts said. “He didn’t bat an eye. He’s just ready to help us win a ball game regardless of where he hits in the order.”
In the last 25 games, Turner is batting just .228 but fans should expect a full 180 come postseason time, which is generally when the 36-year old veteran thrives.
On the year, Turner is batting .274 with 82 RBIs and 25 homers.