The Los Angeles Dodgers made the biggest splash at this season’s MLB trade deadline when they acquired Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals in exchange for a package of prospects headlined by Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz.
The addition of Scherzer helped bolster a starting rotation that has been shorthanded for most of the season due to injuries and other circumstances. However, Turner’s fit was less clear as Corey Seager had recently returned from the injured list and reclaimed his shortstop position.
In an attempt to make it all work, the Dodgers slid Turner over to second base, where he primarily will play for the remainder of the 2021 season.
As one would expect with a midseason position change, the transition hasn’t been flawless. Entering play Wednesday, Turner has committed three errors while playing second base for L.A.
The 28-year-old nonetheless believes he is making progress and hopes the results begin to reflect that. “Still learning second. Feel good the last few days and feel like I’m starting to get things down,” Turner recently said.
“I’m starting to get the small things down, positioning, communication with the guys around me, knowing what to expect from the coaching staff. When you kind of check those things off and don’t have to worry about those and they become habit, I think you can focus on more important parts of the game and contributing elsewhere.
“I’ve got some work to do still, but feel like I’m settling in. It’s been fun playing with these guys. It’s a good ballclub and I’m glad I’m here and can contribute. We’ve got to keep it rolling.”
While Turner has experienced some growing pains at second base, it hasn’t had much of an effect on his production at the plate. He continues to be a spark plug at the top of the lineup and gives the Dodgers a speed threat they haven’t had over the past handful of years.
Turner ‘excited’ for new experiences with Dodgers
Along with learning a new position, Turner has embraced getting to play for a West Coast team for the first time in his career and a World Series contender at that.
“They’ve been good for a long time, so I’m excited to come over here and see how they prepare and gameplan for opposing teams,” Turner said earlier this month.
“I’ve kind of been curious about that. I’ve played for one organization for basically my entire career, so I got used to that. Over here it’s different, and I think it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, learn and grow. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. Excited to do that and join these guys.
“As far as city, can’t beat the weather here. I’m excited about the food; food is always fun for me. I always enjoyed playing here. The crowd is unbelievable. Just the atmosphere is really fun. To have them not yelling at me, and yelling for me is going to be nice. It’s going to be fun to play in front of all these fans.”
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