Probably not. But it would be a lot of fun if he did.
One of the best surprises of the 2014 season was the heroics of infielder Justin Turner. The Dodgers signed Turner as a free agent to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training on February 6, 2014 for about a million dollars. RedTurn impressed the Dodgers so much, that he was able to secure a big league roster spot on opening day. The 30-year old almost instantly became a fan favorite for his incredible clutch-hitting and jolly attitude.
Call to the Pen
Just how good was Turner in 2014? He most certainly had a career year. He posted a slash line of .340/.404/.493 with an .897 OPS. He hit seven home runs, and knocked in 43 runs in 322 plate appearances. As soon as we heard that Lil’ Jon song, we knew it was time for Turner to shine.
Turner had never put up an OPS of higher than .711 during his entire career before he was a Dodger. But perhaps the most amazing part of his 2014 campaign was his penchant for hitting with runners in scoring position. He became a deadly weapon for the Dodgers off the bench.
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The numbers are almost staggering. With runners in scoring position, Turner batted .419 with an OPS of over a 1.000. With men on base he hit .325 with 39 runs batted in. When the Dodgers were behind he batted .324, and when the game was tied he batted .364 with a .937 OPS.
Not only that but he hit .344 at Dodger Stadium. His line drive percentages were through the roof. As a pinch-hitter Turner batted .400 (12 for 30) with ten runs batted in.
He did this all throughout the season despite getting off to a slow start. (he hit .182 in April) He ended the season batting .422 in September/October, and showed no signs of slowing down. Why Don Mattingly didn’t use him in the playoffs is beyond me. Turner had just two at-bats during the Dodger’s four game division series loss to the Cardinals.
Turner was also a very versatile player, splitting playing time at all four infield positions. Turner saw 59 games at third base, but also saw some innings at second, short and first base.
Can Turner repeat his amazing 2014 season? I’m not sure, but the Dodgers have to find out. The club just announced that he was one of four players to file for salary arbitration. He could possibly make double then what he earned in 2014.
Turner probably won’t be able to duplicate his stellar 2014 season in which he registered 4 wins in WAR. But we all believe he will still be a very useful asset to the Dodgers off the bench. The Dodgers are going to make sure to bring back Turner so we can all have more of this next year.
Yeah that’s right, turn down for what? Hopefully 2015 gets Turned down as much as 2014 did.