Twelve days after Justin Turner first aggravated his right groin, the Dodgers put him on the 10-day disabled list before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, opening the door for new addition Manny Machado to take over at third base.
Manager Dave Roberts said he was unsure whether Turner would require more than 10 days to recover from the injury that has nagged him since a game in San Diego before the All-Star break. Turner left a game Sunday, his first start since July 11, after only three innings.
Until Turner returns, Machado will handle third base, Roberts said. Machado won two Gold Glove awards at the position for Baltimore. He converted to shortstop this season, where his defensive ratings dipped. Roberts indicated Machado was open to playing wherever the Dodgers wanted.
“When you lose a player of J.T.’s caliber, to replace him with Manny and not compromise your defense is big for us,” Roberts said.
Chris Taylor returned to shortstop. Max Muncy started at first base. Cody Bellinger handled center field. The Dodgers will continue to rotate the members of the roster during the next two weeks, with Machado a constant at third base.
“He was traded here to be a shortstop, and we understand that,” Roberts said. “But the conversation that I’ve had with Manny last night was easy, and one that I anticipated, where he wanted to do whatever it was to help the ballclub, and help us win. I know he sees himself as a shortstop, as do we. But in this time, where Justin’s on the DL, it makes a lot of sense to have him play third.
Roberts indicated the team did not regret not putting Turner on the disabled list sooner. The Dodgers had hoped the time off last week would aid his legs, but decided Sunday he required more time off.
“We played shorthanded a little bit because of it,” Roberts said. “But I don’t think that impacted any of [the games].”
Alex Verdugo returns
The Dodgers called up outfielder Alex Verdugo to take Turner’s place on the roster. He was selected instead of Andrew Toles, who was demoted last week to make room for Machado.
Toles was dealing with a hamstring cramp, Roberts said. Verdugo has hit .349 with a .906 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for triple-A Oklahoma City, hitting .412 in July.
“Alex has been playing great baseball, too,” Roberts said.