Justin Turner: Dodgers Can’t Afford Slow Start, Must ‘Sprint’ In Potential 2020 Season
Justin Turner, 2020 Spring Training
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

While Major League Baseball has been shut down for almost three months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, its return could be just around the corner.

Negotiations between the league and the MLB Players Association have been anything but smooth, with the latest meeting being described as ‘contentious.’ All indications are that both sides remain committed to getting a season in though, it’s just a matter of what terms they agree to.

With the season likely beginning at some point in July, it’s no secret that it will be shortened from the typical 162 regular-season games. After rejecting a 114-game proposal from the union, MLB is said to be considering a schedule that would only be 50 to 60 games.

Either way, pressure will be on teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are favored to win the National League West, but will now have fewer games to separate themselves from the rest of the division.

In a recent interview on the “Off Air with Joe and Orel Podcast,” Justin Turner discussed the challenges of that and what the Dodgers need to do to avoid getting off to a slow start, which hampered them in 2018:

“It’s definitely going to be a sprint. It looks like cutting the season in half, so I think back to 2018, we got off to that slow start. It literally took 163 games to make it. We’re not going to have that luxury, so it comes down to thinking about what can we do, how can we get ready, how can we prepare, how can we be ready to hit the ground running. But then you also sit back and look, all 30 teams are in the same boat. So no one is really at an advantage. We’re all kind of in the same situation.”

In 2018, the Dodgers started off 16-26 before turning things around and ultimately winning the NL West with a Game-163 win over the Colorado Rockies. Through 50 games, the team’s record sat at 23-27, which likely would not be good enough to make the postseason if that is how many games are played in 2020.

Because of that, Turner is absolutely right that they must be prepared when play resumes to avoid getting off to a slow start and missing the postseason despite having one of the most talented teams in all of baseball.

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