Ahead of a must-win Game 5 against the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers have removed Justin Turner from their National League Championship Series roster and replaced him with Andy Burns.
Turner sustained a Grade 2 left hamstring strain while attempting to beat out a double play in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 9-2 loss on Wednesday.
The TBS broadcast repeatedly alluded to Turner suffering from hamstring trouble throughout the NLCS, though neither he or the club publicly revealed as much. The 36-year-old also had been dealing with a neck stinger that limited him to a pinch-hit appearance in Game 2.
Normally one of the Dodgers’ most reliable hitters in October, Turner uncharacteristically struggled to the tune of a .118/.211/.206 batting line this postseason. His only hit that went for extra bases was a crucial home run off St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in the Wild Card Game.
With Turner being removed from the Dodgers’ NLCS roster, his season officially comes to an end. In the event L.A. overcomes their 3-1 deficit to Atlanta, he would be ineligible to play in the World Series.
Burns joins the Dodgers over other candidates Billy McKinney and Zach McKinstry, among others. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained the decision stemmed from valuing Burns’ versatility and adding another right-handed hitter to the roster.
Burns first joined the active roster in June and went on to make Dodgers franchise history by getting a hit and pitching in his first game with the team. Burns’ time with the Dodgers marked a return to the Majors since last playing for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016. He went 3-for-11 with three walks over nine games with L.A.
Turner was determined to be on field for last out in World Series
Turner lamented not being able to celebrate the Dodgers’ championship clinching victory with his teammates in last year’s Fall Classic due to a positive COVID test. “That was tough and that’s something that’s on the top of my list,” he said entering the 2021 season.
“I still have not been able to be on the field for the last out to celebrate a championship. That’s something I’m determined to show up and work for every day and have that experience at the end of this year.”
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