Sunday marked the end of a long and winding road of a regular season for the Dodgers. At times they were the best team in baseball and at times they were downright awful while navigating through a slew of major injuries to key players. Still, the team put together a 106 win season, finishing 1 game short of the best record in baseball.
A massive contribution to the Dodgers finishing with that record was the landscape-altering trade deadline acquisition of ace future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer, and All-Star infielder Trea Turner.
Certainly, much has been said about Scherzer over the two-plus months since his arrival in Los Angeles. However, if you tune in to watch national baseball coverage, you might be hard pressed to find much praise or adulation for Turner.
Walker Buehler doesn’t like that.
After Sunday’s victory over the Brewers, Buehler was asked his thoughts on one of his newest teammates. The usually less-than-talkative Dodger right-hander was ready to speak up and speak out for the game changing talents of Trea Turner.
“I don’t know why Trea isn’t getting spoken about for MVP as much. He’s had an extremely special year. He’s had a year that not a lot of players can have. We’ve seen it for a couple months now and obviously what he was doing in Washington. He’s a special player and a game-changing player.”
Dodgers fans have known about Trea Turner for a while now. Both as a foe and now as a player donning Dodger blue. Whenever LA matched up with Nationals, Turner’s former team, he was usually a player that caused fits for the pitchers… and catchers. …and the rest of the defense, even if the numbers didn’t always show it.
He’s a name you knew and feared when your team played against Washington. But, somehow you’d be hard pressed to see him featured in highlights on Sportscenter or similar programming. In fact, despite 5 full seasons of posting better than league average numbers, Turner barely made his first All-Star game this year. And he did it as a reserve on the NL team, proving that maybe his name just isn’t quite popular enough among the voting public.
Sports fans vote for names they know. For all the Bryce Harpers and Fernando Tatis Jrs and Aaron Judges of the world, there are the often equally as talented Trea Turners out there that just aren’t getting the spotlight shined upon them.
Hopefully, this October Turner gets that spotlight with LA.
The 28-year-old infielder finished the season leading baseball in batting average (.328) and in hits (195), and he paced the national league in stolen bases (32). In 52 games with the Dodgers, Trea slashed .338/.385/.565 with 10 home runs while the team went 40-11 in games he started.
In a year where there’s no clear-cut leader for Most Valuable Player in the National League, Trea Turner at least deserves more respect than he’s received so far from baseball media. He might even deserve to be the MVP.