Justin Turner is back in the Dodgers lineup at third base on Sunday, after missing the better part of six games with left groin discomfort.
Turner left last Sunday’s game at Dodger Stadium in the second inning after making a defensive play at third base. He missed the first four games of the Dodgers road trip in Philadelphia and New York, then struck out as a pinch-hitter in the 10th inning.
Before Saturday’s game, manager Dave Roberts said if Turner reached base in that game he would pinch run for him. But after Turner hit in the top of the 10th, he remained in the game on defense at third base, for two outs anyway before getting double-switched out.
|1B||Muncy (L)||RF||Conforto (L)|
|SS||Seager (L)||LF||Smith (L)|
|CF||Bellinger (L)||SS||Villar (S)|
Turner must have past whatever final check boxes he needed to get cleared, because he’s batting third and playing third base on Sunday night against the Mets.
The Dodgers could have opted for an injured list stint for Turner, who was correctly projected to miss the entire Phillies series ahead of time. Doing so by Thursday would have meant Turner could be activated by next Thursday. But Turner was deemed healthy enough to avoid such a stint, and with the nearly five games missed as a cost comes the benefit of having him fully active for five games, likely starting the bulk of those.
Turner before this week led the Dodgers in games started and plate appearances, hitting .288/.375/.490 with 20 home runs in the first season of a two-year, $34 million contract. He’s been incredibly durable, with this stretch the first time Turner has missed consecutive games all season.
After playing in a career-high 151 games in 2016, Turner played in 75 percent of Dodgers games from 2017-2020, averaging 121 games over a 162-game season. This year, Turner has played in 106 of 117 games.
In Turner’s absence from the lineup, Chris Taylor started three times at third base and Max Muncy once. Taylor is in left field and batting sixth on Sunday night, and Muncy is in his customary spot at first base, batting second in between Trea Turner and Justin Turner.
Teams: Dodgers (71-46) at Mets (59-57)
Location: Citi Field
Time: 4:08 p.m. PT