The Dodgers placed Justin Turner on the injured list Tuesday with a left hamstring strain.
Turner was hit by a pitch on his hamstring on Aug. 22 against the Rockies, which caused him to miss a game. He aggravated the injury when stealing a base on Friday in Texas, and left that game in the seventh inning. Turner missed the final two games of the series, as the Dodgers essentially played one player short, as they have done while nursing injuries for Corey Seager and Mookie Betts earlier this season.
Luke Raley made the last road trip with the Dodgers on the taxi squad, so they had someone on the 40-man roster available to replace Turner on the roster over the weekend if they chose that route, even though he wasn’t a positional fit.
“We really didn’t know where Justin was at, one or two days out,” manager Dave Roberts said on a conference call Tuesday. “We wanted to kind of see how it played out.”
|2B||Marte (S)||SS||Seager (L)|
|3B||Escobar (S)||1B||Muncy (L)|
|CF||Varsho (L)||3B||Rios (L)|
Turner ran through a series of tests before Tuesday’s game against the Diamondbacks before the Dodgers made the decision to place him on the injury list. The move is backdated to Saturday, meaning his first eligible date to return is next Tuesday, Sept. 8.
To take Turner’s place on the roster, the Dodgers welcome back their leader in slugging percentage by activating Edwin Rios from the injured list and starting him at third base.
“Eddie’s ready and eager,” Roberts said.
Rios missed 13 games with a left hamstring strain, suffered while running the bases on August 16 against the Angels in Anaheim. He was on base by hitting a double in that game, just as he did the game before.
On the season, Rios has three doubles and three home runs in 31 plate appearances, hitting .276/.323/.690, and has reached base in seven of his eight starts this season. Dating back to last season, Rios has a .645 slugging percentage in 87 major league plate appearances.
Cody Bellinger is out of the lineup on Tuesday, though it’s unclear if it’s just a night off or something else. With Bellinger out, the left-handed Gavin Lux gets a start against the left-handed Alex Young, starting for the Diamondbacks. In addition, Chris Taylor starts his first game of the season in center field, and Kiké Hernandez makes his first left field start of 2020.
Daulton Varsho, who made his major league debut on July 30 against the Dodgers, started at catcher for the Diamondbacks in their last game, on Sunday. On Tuesday, he starts in center field.
Varsho one of just five players this century to start a game at both catcher and center field in the same season, joining Eli Marrero (2002-03, 2006), Ben Petrick (2003), Brandon Inge (2004, 2008), and Chris Herrmann (2016). Bless those knees.