The universal DH opened up a myriad of lineup possibilities for National League teams. After introducing the rule during the COVID shortened season in 2020, the DH is here to stay in the senior circuit. Every team benefits from the rule change, but the Dodgers seem to benefit more than most.
With a veteran-laden roster that boasts All-Star bats up and down the lineup, the DH serves as a great tool to keep players fresh. Especially, 37-year-old Justin Turner. This season, Turner has been the Dodgers DH in 18 of his 35 starts. On Wednesday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated that Turner will be featured at DH more often moving forward (quotes via The LA Times’ Jack Harris).
Another pregame note from Roberts: He said Justin Turner is going to DH more often moving forward, and Max Muncy will see more of the playing time at 3B
“I think getting each of those guys more accustomed to a certain role, I think ultimately could be beneficial.”
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) May 20, 2022
Although he got off to a slow start, JT has been heating up at the plate. Prior to first pitch on Friday against the Phillies, Turner has a 1.070 OPS in his last nine games. Deploying JT at DH more often does make some sense. In addition to his age, the veteran has a history of hamstring injuries. Playing the bulk of his time at DH could pay dividends during the course of a 162-game season, and if all goes well, the postseason too.
As for Muncy, he's played 18 games at third base and in 140 innings at the hot corner, has been league average defensively (0 DRS). He's still not putting up the power numbers Dodgers fan have become accustomed too, but he does rank in the top 1% of the majors in walk rate.
The future is uncertain, but one thing is clear - Turner will be the Dodgers primary DH and Muncy will be their primary third baseman.
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