The Dodgers have been without one of their most productive hitters for a little over a week now. Justin Turner went down with a hamstring strain that took him out of the game against the Rangers. Originally listed as day-to-day, JT was sent to the injured list by the team in the following days.
As it turns out, the Dodgers are playing his return pretty slowly. Given the fact that the team is doing so well it sort of makes sense. Los Angeles would need him for October much more than they would for mid to late September. Dave Roberts told the media this week that they weren’t sure what the plans were for him just yet.
Yesterday was a pretty good day. He took grounders on his knees, he threw to about 120 feet, took swings in the cage, did a little bit of moving around as far as running with the strength guys. When he’s ready, it’s a day-to-day thing. When we feel that Justin’s ready to be activated, he’ll be activated. I just don’t know when that’s going to be.
The Dodgers have leaned on a few guys pretty heavily in the absence of Justin Turner. Max Muncy has got more reps over at third base, while Edwin Rios has also mixed into the fold. Turner was slashing.282/.384/.410 with 9 extra-base hit before he hit the IL.
If the Dodgers do indeed need to give JT more time, they can, fortunately, afford to give it to him. Los Angeles finds themselves six games ahead of the Padres in the National League West with less than 20 games to go in the season. Letting JT sit a few extra days would probably benefit big time for a playoff run.