The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a tough blow Monday night, as third baseman Justin Turner was struck in the left wrist by a pitch in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics and was later diagnosed with a small non displaced fracture.
There is no set timetable for Turner’s return yet, but he is expected to miss a significant amount of time, estimated at around two months. While the injury is a tough one to swallow as Turner is the heart and soul of this Dodgers team, the organization has plenty of depth that they can get by for a couple of months without him.
After the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that his initial plan is to move starting second baseman Logan Forsythe to third base in Turner’s absence, and divvy up time at second base amongst Kiké Hernandez and Chase Utley and possibly Austin Barnes, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com
Manager Dave Roberts said his initial thought was to move second baseman Logan Forsythe to third base and platoon at second with Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez. He said he also could use catcher Austin Barnes at second base, as he occasionally has in the past.
The plan Roberts outlined makes a ton of sense, as Forsythe came up as a third baseman and has played 88 career games at the position. Included in that is 39 last year when Turner missed time due to injury.
With Yasmani Grandal likely being the team’s primary catcher, that frees up Barnes to get more time at second base, along with Utley.
Hernandez has the ability to play anywhere on the diamond, so he can fill in wherever needed and after a strong spring, he may very well get an opportunity to be the primary second baseman.
If Roberts changes his mind and decides to bring Chris Taylor in to play second base, then Andrew Toles can shift over to center, with Matt Kemp playing left. Hernandez and Joc Pederson are also candidates to get extended playing time in the outfield if that were to happen.
The bottom line is that while losing Turner is a tough blow as he is irreplaceable in the organization, the Dodgers have plenty of depth in place to get by without him for the first couple months of the season.