Sometimes looks can be very deceiving, and Justin Turner fell in this category twice, even before the season even started. It looked like our favorite red-headed third baseman was not going to return to the team. When all hope was nearly lost, just days before Spring Training, Turner and the Dodgers officially agreed to a two-year, thirty-four million dollar deal, ensuring that Turner spends Opening Day, the hot corner in Los Angeles, for at least two more years.
The second and most notable look to reference is… well, his new look. Justin, along with his wife Kourtney, decided to participate in the Whole30 diet. The Whole30 consists of consuming whole, unprocessed foods, including meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and natural fats, while avoiding added sugar, dairy, alcohol, and grain in 30 consecutive days with no cheat days. Pleased by his results, Turner stated he would continue with this diet.
“It’s my job to be available every single day Dave puts me in the lineup, and it’s his job to decide how many days he wants me in there,” Turner said. “I’m going to do everything I can to be available every day and not have anything physical be a setback to that.” Dave Roberts has noticed that he is “more agile, and mobile” than in 2020.
In this opening four-game series in Colorado, I feel as though new year, same JT. With the exception of the Opening Day game, it was business as usual for him.
April 1 – Turner Opening Day at the Hot Corner
In the first inning, Turner grounded into a double play after singles by Mookie Betts and Corey Seager.
In the third inning, Justin got on base with a single. Cody Bellinger appeared to hit a home run to left field when Raimel Tapia caught the ball; however, the ball went into the stands. Turner didn’t see the ball leave the glove. Fearing he would get doubled up, he charged back to first base. Bellinger had already passed JT on the basepath in the midst of all this, so by rule, Cody was out and only awarded a single. Justin was allowed to score, but it was the only run that counted.
Read more about this whacky play, here.
In the fourth inning, Turner only musters up a groundout. For the sixth inning, Justin had a sacrifice fly RBI and in his final at-bat in the eighth inning, JT had a pop out.
Dodgers lost 5-8.
April 2- Three Hits, Three RBIs
A single in the first inning put Turner on base. He scored when Will Smith singled to center. In the second, Justin doubled, which brought in Corey Seager, who was on second base. The fourth inning saw Turner bring in another run with a single as Gavin Lux crossed the plate. In the sixth inning, JT only produced a fly-out. His last at-bat in the seventh was a strikeout.
Dodgers won 11-6
April 3 – Day off
Turner had the day off, along with Mookie Betts in this one.
April 4 – Series Finale
In the first inning, JT drew a walk. He crossed the plate when Gavin Lux hit the ball deep enough into the outfield, tagging and scoring from third base. The third inning saw him draw another walk. In this instance, he would not score. In the fifth and seventh innings, Turner struck out both times.
Turner spending Opening Day at the hot corner just feels right. The series did start off with a loss and one of the most bizarre plays you’ll ever see, but I believe that in the second game, he was really productive for us and helped us take the series.
For more about Turner’s season stats, click here.
Read more about Turner’s 2021 signing with the Dodgers here.