Justin Turner’s nagging ankle injury keeps him off the field again for Dodgers
The Dodgers left Los Angeles on Monday believing Justin Turner’s left ankle discomfort, which surfaced Sunday, would dissipate in time for him to start Tuesday. Two days later, the pain hasn’t gone away and Turner hasn’t played. Turner wasn’t in Tuesday’s lineup against the Baltimore Orioles and he wasn’t in there again Wednesday.
Instead, the matter has become enough of a concern for Turner to undergo an MRI exam to ensure there isn’t any structural damage after X-rays taken in Los Angeles on Sunday were deemed “inconclusive,” according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
“So it has to be taken as a good thing,” Roberts said. “But symptomatically, just still doesn’t feel right.”
Roberts said Turner would undergo the MRI exam Wednesday or Thursday morning. He added he wasn’t “very concerned” about his third baseman’s situation.
Gavin Lux hit his first career homer in the Dodgers’ 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles and the team clinched its seventh consecutive NL West title.
“If there was an incident that kind of happened, [I’d] maybe be more [concerned], but he really can’t recount what led to the discomfort when he woke up in the morning a few days ago with the soreness,” Roberts said. “So just kind of really [need to] gather more information. But, right now, where we’re at, to push it doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
The 34-year-old Turner hasn’t played since Saturday. He has been on a tear since the beginning of August, batting .302 with 11 home runs and a .985 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 31 games. The power surge propelled Turner’s home run total to 27, tying a career high set in 2016.
Ryu to start Saturday
Roberts announced Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose turn was skipped in the starting rotation, is scheduled to make his next start Saturday against the New York Mets. Clayton Kershaw will start in Friday’s series opener and Walker Buehler will pitch in Sunday’s finale.
Roberts said Ryu has worked on making mechanical adjustments since his latest rough outing, Sept. 4 against the Colorado Rockies. The left-hander threw a rare bullpen session Tuesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in his effort to fine-tune his delivery and rediscover the elite command that catapulted him to his dominance over his first 22 starts.
Ryu emerged from his 22nd start with a 1.45 earned-run average. Since then, he’s allowed 17 runs in 13 1/3 innings (11.48 ERA) across three starts. Opponents batted .391 with a 1.091 OPS against him in the three outings. The Dodgers then decided to temporarily remove the 32-year-old Ryu from the rotation to combat any possible fatigue issues. Ryu has logged 161 2/3 innings this season, his most since 2014.
“There’s something to the changeup just being up three inches than it typically is and at the big league level, that’s a big deal,” Roberts said. “Your fastball being three inches off the plate, that’s a big deal. ... It’s not a velocity thing. It’s not a stuff thing. It’s just more of an execution thing.”
Max Muncy set to come off injured list
Max Muncy is scheduled to meet the Dodgers in New York and come off the injured list Friday to play against the New York Mets. The infielder fractured his wrist when he was hit by a pitch Aug. 28 against the San Diego Padres.
Roberts said Muncy has been at the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Arizona and began hitting live pitching this week.
“I think, as I’ve heard, he hit three homers today,” Roberts said. “So I don’t know how many at-bats he took, but that’s obviously a good sign so I’m looking forward to getting him back.”
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