The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the National League West for a seventh consecutive season without Justin Turner in the lineup, as he was scratched from the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles due to lingering left ankle soreness.
It was a second consecutive game Turner was not in the lineup for but remained available off the bench. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed Sunday that Turner was dealing with the ankle trouble.
While the Dodgers have wrapped up the division, the top spot in the NL standings and best overall record still hang in the balance over the month of the regular season. Turner is among the players who have placed a priority on securing home-field advantage through the World Series.
There may be more pressing concerns for the Dodgers, however, as Turner will undergo an MRI on his ankle, according to David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports
#Dodgers took X Rays on Justin Turner’s left ankle that were inconclusive so they have scheduled an MRI since he still has discomfort
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) September 11, 2019
Although the Dodgers have a goal of continuing to pursue the best record in baseball, Roberts has been clear it will not come at the sacrifice of health. Thus, it can be presumed the club might be more aggressive in providing Turner with any necessary time off before October.
His presence in the lineup is not only imperative from being right-handed but also as one of the Dodgers’ more consistent hitters. Like in previous years, Turner has swung a hot bat since the All-Star break, and in particular from the month of August on.
Since Aug. 1, he’s batting .302/.364/.621 with four doubles, 11 home runs and 21 RBI in 31 games (30 starts). Turner’s 10 home runs in August set a career high for most in a single month.
In addition to Turner, the Dodgers are also facing some injury concern with Alex Verdugo. His recovery from back soreness has stalled and led to the Dodgers shutting down their rookie outfielder for the time being.