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Justin Turner Defends Dodgers’ Use Of Platoons, Credits Method For Reaching World Series

Justin Turner, 2018 World Series, Dodgers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Facing adversity for much of the 2018 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers overcame many obstacles to reach their second consecutive World Series. That was largely due to a plethora of injuries over the course of the year, which forced the club to change their strategy.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was forced to utilize more platoons than usual, which proved effective until the postseason. Some fans, however, were not pleased with the method and attributed the constant mixing and matching to the club’s shortcomings in October.

Justin Turner defended the Dodgers’ use of platoons and believes they were vital in order to achieve their goal of returning to the Fall Classic, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

“There was all this noise about the platoons,” Turner said. “We won the division. We went to the World Series. You can’t say that it didn’t work. Because we lost in the World Series, people were saying ‘Oh, it’s because you platooned.’ What? How did we get there? That was our identity last year. That’s not an organizational philosophy. It’s just what we had to do to adapt to survive.”

Yasiel Puig, who was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in December, wasn’t a fan of the club’s platooning method and welcomed the idea of a fresh start elsewhere due to his desire to play every day.

Going into the 2019 season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expects the club to deploy less platoons when compared to last year.

That’s due in part to the signing of A.J. Pollock, who is expected to be the Dodgers’ primary center fielder. Moreover, Corey Seager is on track to return for the start of the regular season and is capable of playing on most days.

Roberts also wants to pencil in Cody Bellinger more consistently, especially against left-handed pitching, as an effort to speed up his development.