When the Los Angeles Dodgers set an Opening Day record by slugging eight home runs in a rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks, it wound up being a sign of what was to come. But as the Dodgers have collectively continued their power display, Justin Turner has yet to get involved.
The Dodgers have combined for 41 home runs, which paces the National League and is second only to the Seattle Mariners (49) for the MLB lead. L.A. began the season with a home run in 10 consecutive games, and they have homered in 32 straight games at Dodger Stadium (dating back to last season).
Entering Sunday’s matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers, Turner is without a home run in 89 plate appearances over 21 games thus far in the 2019 season. Of course, that’s hardly an outlier in what’s held true for most of his career.
Since signing with the Dodgers, Turner has just two home runs in March or April. A caveat to that is he did not play last season until May because of a fractured left wrist suffered late in Spring Training.
Furthermore, it has not been until recent years that MLB has begun its regular season during March.
Although Turner has yet to leave the yard, it’s hardly a concern of his, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
“I’m fully aware of that,” third baseman Justin Turner said. “I don’t care. Man, I’m not necessarily a home run hitter. My goal is to get on base.”
“It’s not necessarily a slow start,” Turner said. “Maybe slow slugging start, but not like a slow start, I guess. It could be worse. I could be hitting friggin’ .180 with no homers. So I’m not worried about it.”
Turner has hit at least 14 home runs in four of his five last seasons with the Dodgers. He set a career high with 27 homers in 2016 and followed that with 21 the following year in what was an All-Star season.
When Turner does inevitably hit his first long ball of 2019, he will be the last position player who was on the Opening Day roster to have done so.