The Los Angeles Dodgers have long been one of Major League Baseball’s most successful teams. They’ve won seven World Series championships and nine NL pennants since moving to California from Brooklyn in 1958. So, when the club decided to make a second major move this week and trade away their best player, shortstop Corey Seager, you might have thought the Dodgers would be struggling. Not a chance. The Dodgers’ front office made a smart move, sending Seager to the Washington Nationals in exchange for a young, controllable MVP candidate in pitcher Blake Treinen.
Trea Turner was set to take a seat on the bench in his home state on Friday night, but a new injury finally brought his pursuit of baseball stardom to a halt. After being hit in the face with a pitch during the week, the 21-year-old shortstop was forced to leave Thursday’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
Since the Dodgers traded for Montreal infielder Manny Machado on July 26, their infield has been in disarray. The team tried to upgrade by adding Machado, but then promptly spent their remaining assets on starting pitcher Alex Wood, first baseman Matt Kemp, and reliever Tony Watson. But the moves have not helped, and the team is now in last place in the NL West. Yet, one of the teams new additions made his debut on August 16, and he is already making an impact. It is a nice revenge story, as the Dodgers acquired Turner from the Nationals last season, and he had a breakout campaign, posting a .323/.364/.467 slash with 20 homers, 101 RBI, and a .967 OPS in 159 games.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Trea Turner has endured one of the most stressful two-week periods of his big league career, to put it mildly.
On July 28, the All-Star shortstop tested positive for COVID-19. He was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers from the Washington Nationals two days later in a blockbuster transaction that featured All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer.
Turner had to wait to pass COVID-19 procedures while Scherzer made his Dodgers debut on Wednesday. He was activated on Friday before of the Dodgers’ weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels, and he started on Saturday.
“Having to deal with just COVID in general and then being traded across the nation has been one of the craziest weeks of my life,” Turner said. “The past two weeks have been strange because I’ve gone back and forth from thinking — well, they’re not going to trade me; yes, they will — you just have to be ready for everything.”
Turner considers himself fortunate, both in terms of his health and his new club. He admitted to losing weight but believes he will soon regain it as he transitions from a rebuilding scenario in Washington to a playoff hunt with the reigning World Series winners.
In 97 games, Turner ranks second in the National League with a.321 hitting average, 18 home runs, and 49 RBIs. He made his Dodgers debut as a pinch-hitter on Friday, when he popped out to the catcher in foul area.
Turner will move to second base with the Dodgers after being the Nationals’ regular shortstop since 2017. Turner welcomed the chance to return to a position he last played in 2016, according to manager Dave Roberts, who discussed the move with him.
The Dodgers’ normal shortstop, Corey Seager, will continue to play there, but Turner will fill in when Seager is unavailable.
“You can see All-Stars, MVPs, and players who have done a lot in the playoffs all throughout the lineup. So all you can do is attempt to fit in and contribute where you can “Turner said. “I simply enjoy playing every day and try to contribute as much as can,” says the player.
Turner will bat first this weekend for Roberts, with Mookie Betts moving to third and Max Muncy staying at second. Roberts said that he intends to take advantage of Turner’s quickness to generate some early chances. When hitting first, he has a.317 batting average in 43 games.
“I want to make Trea feel at ease,” Roberts stated. “In terms of the transaction, this is something new for him. It’s critical for him and the Dodgers to get him comfortable.”
Turner voiced his dissatisfaction with the Nationals in his first remarks after being moved. Turner was transferred to Los Angeles because he and his representatives didn’t want to negotiate a contract extension until they had a better understanding of the shortstop market, according to general manager Mike Rizzo.
“I’ve been quite forthright. I said I’d speak about an extension whenever it was convenient for me, and I waited for it to happen, but it didn’t “Turner said. “Over the past two years, I’ve been told a lot of things. Actions, in my opinion, speak louder than words. That’s all in the past now; it’s over, and I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter.”
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