Marlins @ Dodgers May 13, 2015: All Hail Justin Turner

I guess it was fun while it lasted, Juan Uribe. For the fourth game in a row, and sixth of the last eight, Uribe isn’t starting at third base. Justin Turner gets the start, giving him four in that span, with Uribe and Alex Guerrero two apiece.

Marlins
Dodgers
4:50 p.m.
Los Angeles
2B
Gordon
CF
Pederson
3B
Prado
3B
Turner
RF
Stanton
2B
Kendrick
CF
Ozuna
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Yelich
LF
Guerrero
1B
Morse
C
Grandal
C
Realmuto
RF
Ethier
SS
Hechavarria
SS
Hernandez
P
Cosart(R)
P
Frias(R)

We can talk about what that means for Uribe, but for now, let’s take a moment to focus on how incredible Turner has been. That’s exactly what Eno Sarris did at FanGraphs today, sharing that Turner’s career really began to change in his final days with the Mets, thanks in large part to outfielder Marlon Byrd, of all people:

“The old saying is ‘stay back stay back stay back.’ Well, he was talking about doing the opposite,” said Turner. “Not backing the ball up, going out and getting it. Being aggressive and get out there and get on your front side, get off your back side.”

After years of hearing about letting the ball travel deep in the zone, and giving the ball time, and staying back, Turner didn’t quite take to the advice right away. He challenged Byrd, but Byrd got him right back. “Pull up your film from all the balls that you’ve driven, and look where your contact point was,” the outfielder told the infielder. “Even though I thought I was backing the ball up, when I looked at the balls I was driving, they were out in front of the plate,” Turner admitted. “It really started making sense.”

If you were to go to the wRC+ hitting leaders over the last calendar year (and drop the minimum to 300 PA, which isn’t insignificant), look who you’ll see at the top:

  1. Turner, 187
  2. Mike Trout, 172
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 168

That still contains a lot of last year’s BABIP, and Trout’s done it in nearly twice as many plate appearances, so let’s try to keep some context here. Still, it’s real production that’s helped the team. It’s incredible in so many ways… and there’s a real discussion to be had that hey, maybe he should be the one who goes in an inevitable trade for pitching this summer.

That’s a conversation for a different time, of course. For today’s odd start time, we’ll leave you with some newsy bits:

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.