When Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was concluding an interview to discuss the re-signing of Justin Turner, he jokingly told the media to ask the third baseman to do a twirl in order to show off his weight loss.
Turner’s physique has often been the talk of camp and is a byproduct of participating in a Whole30 diet along with wife Kourtney. “I finished my 30 days this last Wednesday. It went well,” Turner said.
“I feel great, I think I’m in a good spot and probably something I’ll continue with eating clean. Still eating a lot of Whole30 meals, actually.”
Although some assumed Turner shedding weight was related to becoming a free agent this past winter, it had long been a focus of his. “The last four or five years I’ve always had a goal of trying to get down to around 200 pounds, if not just under 200 pounds,” Turner explained.
“I always have kind of plateaued at 201, 202 and never really been able to get there. So when my wife wanted to do this Whole30 diet, I jumped on board and started seeing results right away. I think I got down as low as 192 at one point.
“Working my way back up to getting right around 200 pounds, but just doing it the right way. Eating good and eating clean.”
There is also the possibility of being more agile and lean amounting to avoiding injury. “Your guys’ biggest knock on me is I don’t stay on the field very often,” Turner quipped. “So that’s kind of a point of emphasis. I’m just trying to be lighter, be more mobile and me more durable.”
Turner appeared in at least 109 games in each of his first six seasons with the Dodgers. Last year he played in 70% (42) of the shortened 60-game schedule.
“It’s my job to be available every single day for Dave to pencil me in the lineup. It’s his job to decide how many days he wants me in there,” Turner said. “I’m going to do everything I can to be available every day and not have anything physical be a setback for that.”
Turner not concerned about power
A common perception with weight loss is it can affect a hitter’s power production. That train of thought is not something Turner believes in or is worried about.
“I feel good offensively. I feel like I’m in a good spot,” he said. “Obviously, if I don’t come out hitting a bunch of homers there will probably be everyone trying to equate it to, ‘Oh I lost weight, so I lost my power.’ But I don’t think that’s the case.
“I feel like I’m trending in the right direction right now. Things are starting to come together and I feel like offensively, I’m right where I need to be 10 days from Opening Day.”
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