Now that the trade deadline has passed, and the 40-man roster has more clarity, the Dodgers finally decided to put Justin Turner on the injured list with an abdominal strain.
Newly acquired outfielder Joey Gallo will fill the vacant spot on the active roster, but he’s not expected to arrive in San Francisco until Wednesday. So the Dodgers will play one player short on Tuesday against the Giants. But that’s what they’ve done essentially since the All-Star break.
Turner left the July 21 game, the first game after the break, with abdominal tightness, and sat out the next five games. He returned last Wednesday against the Nationals, and was 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk. But Turner then missed all four games in Coors Field as a precaution, and didn’t play Monday in San Francisco.
On Sunday, manager Dave Roberts told reporters he didn’t expect Turner to play until Thursday at the earliest, but that keeping him active had “no cost” because the Dodgers wouldn’t have had to likely make a 40-man roster move to call someone up.
That call up is highly-regarded prospect Miguel Vargas, who got the call Tuesday after the Dodgers added Gallo but also cleared three roster spots over two days with trades of Garrett Cleavinger, Jake Lamb, and Mitch White.
“We’re much better off when JT is healthy and on the field for us, but we want to be smart about it,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on a conference call Tuesday, before Turner’s IL stint was announced.
Turner this season is hitting .257/.332/.405 with 22 doubles and eight home runs, and hit .376/.455/.570, a 187 wRC+ with 22 runs batted in in his last 27 games.
By placing Turner on the injured list now instead of Wednesday, it starts his 10-day clock sooner. The Dodgers made the move retroactive to Saturday, with three days the longest a team can backdate an IL stint. That means the earliest Turner could return is Tuesday, August 9, which is the start of a two-game series against the Twins.