Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
As part of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA), a universal designated hitter was implemented for the 2022 season and beyond.
As expected, the Los Angeles Dodgers have used the DH spot as a revolving door of sorts, rotating players as a means of getting some rest from playing the field.
Among those who have seen time at DH include Justin Turner. Now in his age-37 season, Turner remains a solid defender at third base, but the presence of DH could potentially help preserve his career.
Turner admitted the universal DH has been helpful to him in the present but isn’t sure he would still be in the Majors if it was around a decade ago, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I definitely had mixed feelings (about the DH coming to the NL this year). Obviously, zoomed in to where I am right now, it’s beneficial to me. But when you kind of zoom out on my career, if there was a DH (in the National League) 10 years ago, I don’t know if I ever make it to the major leagues.”
After being non-tendered by the New York Mets at the end of the 2013 season, Turner signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers. He chose to play for his hometown team over the Boston Red Sox due to utility players having a larger role in the National League.
Turner went on to establish himself as an important part of the Dodgers and became their starting third baseman the following year. He is in the final guaranteed season of a two-year contract that includes a team option for 2023.
Justin Turner shifting to DH
While the Dodgers have penciled in multiple players at DH in their lineup, manager Dave Roberts recently said Turner was likely to receive the bulk of those at-bats moving forward. The domino effect includes Max Muncy being expected to make more starts at third base.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!