Justin Turner remains an indispensable force in the middle of the Dodgers lineup, and this year has been his most durable in five seasons.
From 2017-20, Turner played in 75 percent of the Dodgers’ regular season games. This year he’s at 92 percent, while leading the team with 80 starts. The 36-year-old credits an offseason diet he and his wife Kourtney tried.
“It’s allowed me to be available more, to be on the field more, recover better, not have as many aches and pains from going out and playing every day,” Turner said.
Playing in the All-Star Game doesn’t mean the entire break is lost, as there are still days off on Wednesday and Thursday instead of a four-day rest period. Not that Turner was considering passing up an opportunity to return to the midsummer classic.
“I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to go to the All-Star Game for anything,” he said.
Turner was named on Saturday as a replacement on the NL roster with Mookie Betts and others opting not to play in the game due to injuries.
In fan balloting, Turner finished second at third base to NL starter Nolan Arenado.
Turner won the final vote for the last National League roster spot in 2017. In the All-Star Game in Miami, Turner popped out to second base against Ervin Santana in his only at-bat, and played one inning at third base.
“Enjoying the time with the guys in the room, and soaking it all in. Probably the best part of it last time was getting the opportunity to sit down and talk, hang around a cage and have conversations with different guys about different things,” Turner said. “You really get to know a different side of the guy other than seeing him in the other dugout or batter’s box.”
Turner is hitting .307/.394/.500 with 15 home runs, leading all National League third basemen in batting average, on-base percentage, wOBA (.388), and wRC+ (149). Turner leads the hot corner in fWAR (2.9) and ranks second in bWAR (2.8).
If Turner plays on Tuesday, he’ll be the third Dodger to play in multiple All-Star Games at third base, along with Ron Cey (1974-79, including three starts) and Cookie Lavagetto (1940-41, starting in 1940).