Dodgers: Turner’s Injury Could be the Break Kyle Farmer Needed
The Dodgers aren’t exactly scrambling for ways to replace Justin Turner due to the fact that they have a deep and talented roster. Turner’s injury could open the door for Kyle Farmer to prove his worth.
Kyle Farmer is having a magnificent spring training. He has three home runs, nine runs batted in, and a stellar 1.293 OPS. Even with arguably the best spring of any Dodger, Farmer would’ve likely been ticketed for Triple-A Oklahoma City to start for the OKC Dodgers. Dave Roberts mentioned on Tuesday that Farmer is now strongly in the mix to make the opening day roster.
Farmer is no stranger to making the most of his opportunities. Last year in a nationally televised ESPN game, all Kyle did was get a walk-off double for his first big league hit. Now the stage is once again set for Kyle Farmer to leave a lasting impression on the Dodgers if he makes his first opening day roster.
This could be the one big chance that Farmer gets with the Dodgers. He is going to be 28 years old in August, so while he is young, he is definitely not a prospect anymore. The Dodgers are also loaded at catcher boasting some of the best organizational depth of any team in baseball. Even with Yasmani Grandal in a contract year, the Dodgers have Austin Barnes, Will Smith, future star Keibert Ruiz, and 2017 draftee Connor Wong.
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If Farmer started out in Triple-A he might have gotten lost in the minor league mix but now he will get the chance to make a lasting impression on the Dodgers front office. With Grandal likely leaving in free agency next offseason, Farmer could end up being the backup catcher next season if he has a strong showing early this season. Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz are the next wave of Dodger catchers but they are unlikely to be ready for the big leagues next season. Farmer is clearly major league ready and the favorite to be the backup catcher to Austin Barnes next year.
The Dodgers front office loves versatility and Kyle Farmer has more positional flexibility than Austin Barnes. While Barnes is capable of playing second base, Kyle Farmer played all five positions of the infield in the minor leagues last season. Carrying Farmer on their roster would allow the Dodgers to be able to use Austin Barnes off the bench more while still having another catcher on the bench.
How much Kyle Farmer is used in the early portions of the season remains to be seen. The preliminary plan is for Logan Forsythe to start at third base and a platoon of Kiké Hernandez and Chase Utley to man second base. Farmer will see some action at third base and it isn’t out of the question that he could see time at first and second base.
Next: Breaking down the first month of the Dodgers schedule
Kyle Farmer is going to have to make a strong impression in April and May in order to stay ahead of the talented group of catchers in the Dodgers farm system. A strong early season showing could even prolong his stay in LA once Justin Turner is healed from his broken wrist. If last season was any indication, Farmer will make the most of his at-bats with Turner on the mend.