A rather sleepy and ordinary Spring Training took a turn for the worst early this week when the Los Angeles Dodgers learned they would begin the season without All-Star third baseman Justin Turner.
In the midst of yet another strong showing in spring, Turner suffered a fractured left wrist when he was hit by a pitch. What’s certain is Turner will miss somewhat of a prolonged stretch, and the Dodgers will look to fill the void by sliding Logan Forsythe over to third base.
How long Forsythe will remain there is not yet clear, at least not publicly. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the team will not reveal a timetable for Turner’s recovery, which is the same course of action they took with Clayton Kershaw.
However, during an appearance on the Mason & Ireland show on ESPN L.A. Radio, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi indicated there is hope Turner will only be sidelined for a few weeks:
“The mood obviously when it first happened was pretty grim but given that there is a fracture in there, it’s really the best possible situation where we’re hoping that it will just be a few weeks rather than months. So that’s given everybody reason for optimism. … The first marker is going to be when he can start actually doing some activity. From that point he’s got to start doing baseball activity and go out on a rehab. We’re hoping in a couple weeks he can start doing some stuff. Again, it’s just going to depend on the feeling and discomfort he has in that hand/wrist area. It’s really hard to pin it down beyond that.”
The Dodgers were without Turner for nearly one month last season, when a right hamstring strain forced him to the disabled list. The team went 12-7 during his absence, sparked by a six-game winning streak.
Although replacing Turner’s production and leadership is a tall order, he’s confident the Dodgers will manage just fine while he recovers. Turner went 12-for-36 (.333 batting average), with a .415 on-base percentage, .556 slugging, two doubles, two home runs, three RBI and three walks in 15 Cactus League games.
No matter how long Turner remains on the disabled list, indications are the Dodgers will not look to sign or trade for a third baseman.