clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 Dodgers review: Justin Turner

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Turner earned a starting role at third base in 2015, his second straight season of exceeding expectations, proving to be an invaluable piece of the Dodgers' puzzle.

What went right

Turner followed up a career season as a reserve and fill-in with another stellar campaign in 2015. Despite starting the season in his same part-time role, Turner claimed the regular third base job by mid-May and, injuries aside, never let go.

The right-handed redhead has had reverse platoon splits in his career, and his 2015 numbers against right-handed pitchers were outstanding. Turner hit .312/.383/.522 against same-handed foes in 2015 with a .390 wOBA and a 150 wRC+ that ranked sixth among the 140 National League players with at least 200 plate appearances against righties.

Turner hit .322/.404/.556 with runners in scoring position, tops on the team in slugging percentage and OPS with RISP.

In May and June combined, Turner hit .325/.406/.591 with 10 home runs, nine doubles and 32 RBI in 52 games, including 40 starts. That included a streak of at least one hit in 22 consecutive starts.

The Dodgers were proactive in giving Turner regular rest, roughly every fourth or fifth day most of the year. He played in a career-high 126 games in 2015, setting personal marks for home runs (16), RBI (60), runs scored (55), total bases (189) and tied his career high in hits (113), set previously in 2011 with New York.

Turner was a shining beacon of light for an otherwise dim Dodgers offense in the National League Division Series against the Mets. Turner reached base at least twice in all five games against his old team, going 10-for-19 (.526) with six doubles, setting a franchise record for doubles in a postseason series.

Turner's 10 hits in the NLDS were the most by a Dodger in any division series or NLCS, trailing only the franchise record of 11 hits in the World Series, shared by Ron Fairly (1965), Maury Willis (1965) and Bill Russell (1978).

What went wrong

Turner missed 14 games on the disabled list in July and August with a right thigh skin infection. After returning from the DL, Turner hit just .161/.234/.286 (9-for-56) for the final 16 games of August.

He also missed four games in September with left knee soreness, an injury that coupled with the Dodgers' clinching of the division limited Turner to just six starts over the final 15 games of the regular season. That knee injury required arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 22 to clean up loose bodies.

2015 particulars

Age: 30

Stats: .294/.370/.491, .371 wOBA, 138 OPS+, 141 wRC+, 16 HR, 26 2B in 126 games, 3.9 rWAR, 4.0 fWAR

Salary: $2.5 million

Game of the year

Turner was 3-for-4 with a walk and a three-run home run on May 5 at Milwaukee, driving in a season-high four runs in an 8-2 win over the Brewers.

Roster status

Turner has five years, 45 days of major league service time, with one year before qualifying for free agency. He is eligible for salary arbitration, and MLB Trade Rumors predicted Turner will earn $5.3 million in 2016.