On Tuesday, Justin Turner took the field with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time this season. He missed the first 40 games after suffering a fractured left wrist as a result of getting hit by a pitch during Spring Training.
The plunking was nothing new for Turner. Since becoming a regular for the Dodgers in 2014, he’s been hit 46 times. Included in that was 19 times last season, which set a career high, led the team and was second-most in the National League.
Considering the rate at which he is hit, it’s remarkable Turner avoided serious injury for as long as he did. And although that changed this spring, it won’t cause Turner to alter his approach or stance at the plate, per Glenn Sattell on MLB.com:
“I do get hit a lot,” he said. “It’s part of the game. Obviously, I’m comfortable with it. Unfortunately the last one got me in a bad spot.”
Although he has an open stance when a pitcher goes to deliver a ball to the plate, Turner closes his left leg winds up crowding the inside corner.
Somewhat indicative of how their season has gone, Turner endured a scare in Tuesday’s loss to the Miami Marlins. A fastball tailed inside and went off the knob of Turner’s bat, narrowly missing his left hand/wrist.
Turner previously told DodgerBlue.com that he wears a protective padding on his left hand throughout the game, which is taped to his wrist. “It’s there to, in theory, protect it. Hopefully I don’t have to find out if it works or not,” he quipped.