The Dodgers are a little more than a week away from the start of the regular season and they received some bad news on Monday night. Justin Turner suffered a broken left wrist.
The Dodgers are going to be dealing with some adversity before their regular season even begins in 2018. Monday night, Justin Turner was hit on the left wrist by a Kendall Graveman fastball. The sound of the ball hitting the left wrist of Turner was enough for Dodger fans to know this was a very serious injury. The wrist is just about the worst spot a hitter can get hit due to the lack of protection and meat on the bone.
Bill Shaikin was amongst the first to report that the injury was a non-displaced fracture and that Freddie Freeman missed approximately six weeks with a similar injury last season. That would put Justin Turner out until May at the earliest. Turner will still need at least a week of at-bats before returning to the major leagues.
Where do the Dodgers turn from here? There are a variety of ways they could go due to the versatility of their roster, but the most likely scenario is that Kyle Farmer will now make the opening day roster. Farmer is capable of playing second base, third base, and catcher so he could allow the Dodgers to use Austin Barnes at second base and move Logan Forsythe to third base. Forsythe is the club’s best defensive third baseman after Turner, so the Dodgers will start Forsythe at third base.
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At second base the Dodgers could employ a platoon of Chase Utley and Kiké Hernandez. Utley could get most of the starts against right-handed starters although the Dodgers could mix in Austin Barnes and even Kyle Farmer at second base. The Dodgers optioned Jake Peter down to the minor leagues after Monday night’s game so Turner’s injury will not open up a roster spot for the spring training star.
While Chris Taylor can play second base, the Dodgers seem to be happy with the way he has settled into the centerfield spot so they are likely to leave him be. The Dodgers are also not comfortable with Toles or Joc in centerfield full time. Although many once wondered why Chase Utley was brought back, the veteran Utley will help stabilize second base now that Logan Forsythe is going to man the hot corner.
The least likely scenario is that Trayce Thompson makes the opening day roster now and backs up Chris Taylor in centerfield. While this could happen, the Dodgers are rumored to have made Trayce Thompson available for trade so this is likely his last week in Dodger blue. The only way he will stick in the Dodgers system is if he goes unclaimed on waivers.
The Dodgers will not get a real timetable until Justin Turner undergoes further examination on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, it is pretty certain that Justin Turner will miss the first month of the season. Coming back by the middle of May appears to be the preliminary goal.