Heading into free agency last winter most assumed the Los Angeles Dodgers and Justin Turner would come to terms on a new contract relatively quickly. However, there were multiple reports connecting Turner to other clubs.
He has since detailed the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays had significant interest before a re-signing was worked out with the Dodgers. That didn’t manifest until the middle of February, which prevented Turner from conducting his usual offseason workouts at Dodger Stadium.
“I worked out at my house for the majority of my training sessions. Wasn’t able to get on a field like I’m used to,” he said. “Starting in January, we’re usually out on the field taking ground balls and hitting three or four times a week.”
Part of the new routine entailed Turner hitting with Doug Latta in person rather than relying on remote conversations after analyzing video.
“Spent a lot of time in the cage with him, which probably was a blessing being able to put in all the time with him in person as opposed to hitting at the field and sending video to talk about it that way,” Turner said.
“In ways it was more difficult, but in other ways it was probably more of a blessing to be able to do that.”
The new set of workouts did not prevent Turner from getting off to a patented hot start this season, and there was an added power boost throughout the month of April. Turner entered the season having hit just three career homers in March and April games.
That total was doubled this season and Turner finished with a 1.005 on-base plus slugging percentage through the first month. “I don’t really have an answer for you there,” he said of the power increase. “Just trying to take good at-bats, trying to hit the ball hard. When you simplify your goals, sometimes good things happen.”
Turner feels for May
The Dodgers received somewhat expected but still disappointing news when Dustin May underwent an MRI on his right elbow that revealed a damaged UCL (ulnar collateral ligament). May is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, May 11, in Los Angeles.
“That’s a significant loss for us. That’s a significant arm we’ve relied on and were planning on relying on,” Turner said. “Just feel terrible for Dustin. Obviously it’s not something anyone wants to go through or experience.
“Just wishing him a speedy recovery and hopefully he can stay mentally strong, get through this, talk to a lot of guys who have experienced it and come out of it better and stronger.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, participate in our shows and giveaways, and more!