One of the biggest mysteries of the spring leading into the Los Angeles Dodgers’ opening game of the 2014 season was who would start at second base. Now, it appears that there’s an answer after a battle in the spring between Dee Gordon, Alex Guerrero, Chone Figgins and Justin Turner.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, manager Don Mattingly has decided on his Opening Day second baseman:
Puig leadoff tomorrow. Justin Turner starts at second base.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 21, 2014
Turner was signed to a minor league deal late in the off-season after spending the last four seasons with the New York Mets. He’ll get the start against left-hander Wade Miley in the opening game of a two-game series in Australia. It isn’t known whether Turner will be the full-time second baseman, or whether he’ll enter a platoon with Gordon. Many believed Gordon had taken the spot over the spring, as he started the last game of the Cactus League with the rest of the Dodger regulars.
Last season, Turner hit .280 with a pair of home runs and 16 RBI in 86 games for the Mets. He can play any infield position and showed off some of his versatility in the spring. The 29-year-old led all of the potential second basemen in the spring with a .355 average and added four extra-base hits. Coming to the Dodgers was a sort of homecoming for Turner, who was born and raised in Long Beach and played college baseball at Cal State Fullerton. He was added to the 40-man roster and made the trip to Australia, but wasn’t yet aware of his status on the team.
Right-hander Trevor Cahill will take the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second game of the series and Mattingly will have to make a decision on who to start at second. Mattingly may wait until after the first game to make that decision if Turner does well.
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