The Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to be one of the best teams during the 2017 MLB season, as the roster is as deep as ever and are seemingly hell-bent on making it to the World Series. The defending NL West champions made a statement on Opening day, defeating the San Diego Padres 14-3.
Justin Turner had a rocky start to the 2016 MLB season as he was still recovering from microfracture knee surgery. However, Turner was able to find his groove again midseason and according to J.P. Hoornstra of Orange County Register, a suggestion from President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman helped him at-bat:
“He was the one who made the suggestion: ‘look, you’re getting great at-bats, you’re hitting balls hard, you’re just not pulling as many balls as you did the last two years. Maybe you just try to change your sights and get back to left-center.’”
Turner finished the 2016 campaign batting .275/.339/.493 with 27 home runs and 34 doubles. The home runs were a career-high and also tied for the team lead, leaving him as arguably the best hitter for Los Angeles.
During the offseason, re-signing Turner was a key priority for the team as he had helped fuel their postseason run with his hitting ability. Luckily, Los Angeles and Turner were able to agree to a four-year, $64 million deal to bring the third baseman back. The move is already paying dividends as Turner managed to go 3-for-5 with two doubles on Opening Day, contributing to an easy win for the Dodgers. With Turner back on track, the Dodgers look to be in good shape as the season progresses.