Juan Uribe was one of the best hitters for the Los Angeles Dodgers before he took a trip to the disabled list on May 21 with a hamstring injury.
Since then, the Dodgers have found a capable replacement in utility infielder Justin Turner. He has started just about every game since Uribe went down and is hitting .357 with three home runs and 12 RBIs since May 22.
According to Manny Randhawa of MLB.com, manager Don Mattingly continues his praise of the versatile veteran:
J.T.’s been solid for a while now since Papi’s been down,” Mattingly said. “I feel like we’re getting a decent handle on how to use him, trying to pick the right guys for him and things like that, give him enough days to keep him strong.”
Turner has started 30 games at three different spots thus far for the Dodgers this season, with the majority coming at third base recently. Overall, he is hitting .276 with the three home runs and 17 RBIs in 46 games. He has started over 100 games once in his career back in 2011 with the New York Mets. That season, he hit .260 with four home runs and 51 RBIs at second base primarily. Turner joins Chone Figgins as the key components to the Dodgers bench, having been thrust into bigger roles due to injuries in recent weeks. Figgins has become the utility backup in the infield and sometimes the outfield.
Uribe has been working to get back, but still could be out at least another week. When he returns, Mattingly will have the luxury of resting Uribe more often knowing what Turner can do. Uribe was hitting .303 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 40 games this season, but will have to ease his way in following the hamstring issue.
Even if Turner’s at-bats decrease with the return of Uribe, his showing when given some playing time has garnered attention.
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