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Dodgers getting a needed, if unexpected, lift from Justin Turner

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has hit .357 in his last 16 games.

Justin Turner wasn’t looking like much of a grand Dodgers addition. He seemed light years away from the utility players lost in the off-season, Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto.

By May 21 Turner was batting just .218 with an equally woeful .269 slugging percentage. And this was going to be the main fill-in for Juan Uribe, out indefinitely with a hamstring strain?

Only since then, he’s developed into something of a mini-marvel. Turner has hit .357 in his last 16 games, with an on-base percentage of .571 and a slugging percentage of .971.

He’s had two hits in his last four consecutive games, raising his season average to .276, all while playing an improved third base. He’s hitting .364 with runners in scoring position, second on the team to Yasiel Puig (.370).

Turner was actually drafted out of Cal State Fullerton in the seventh round by the Reds in 2006. He was traded to the Orioles, picked up on waivers by the Mets and then signed in the off-season as a non-roster invitee by the Dodgers.

After his poor start, Turner is proving a valuable addition, splitting playing time at third with Chone Figgins while Uribe remains out. His turnaround is what you might call timely.

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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