LOS ANGELES — Although it was inconceivable to see October from the on-deck circle on the All-Star Recreation in Denver, the way forward for the Los Angeles Dodgers ever so briefly met the current on that July night.
As they ready to hit initially the eighth inning, Trea Turner, who was scheduled to steer off, checked out Justin Turner, who would bat second, and couldn’t assist however observe the second. This, Trea advised Justin, has acquired to be the primary time two Turners have hit back-to-back in a lineup.
“Then, a number of weeks later, he will get traded over right here,” Justin Turner stated throughout a latest batting-practice dialog in San Francisco, the place the Dodgers have been navigating a tension-filled N.L. division sequence in opposition to the Giants. “And now right here we’re within the playoffs hitting back-to-back, in order that’s fairly cool.”
For the Dodgers, it’s excess of symmetry on a lineup card. Trea Turner has left an imprint on almost each sport since he arrived with the pitcher Max Scherzer in a blockbuster commerce with the Washington Nationals on July 30. Although it was Scherzer who dominated the headlines in that deal, Turner has given the Dodgers a day by day increase.
“I believe he’s a critical M.V.P. candidate,” Justin Turner stated. “He impacts the sport so many various methods, defensively, on the bases, together with his bat, with the ability, it’s simply unimaginable. And also you add a man like that to our lineup, it simply lengthens it much more.”
When the Dodgers gained Recreation 2 in San Francisco, it was Trea Turner who sparked what had been a sluggish offense with a double to start out a four-run sixth inning. Then, with the Giants threatening within the backside of the inning, it was his sensational defensive play — diving and smothering a floor ball behind second base — that helped maintain Los Angeles within the lead.
It was extra of the identical from Turner, who has been making an affect like that since becoming a member of the Dodgers on Aug. 6 — his arrival in Los Angeles delayed a number of days after the commerce deadline as he recovered from a bout with the coronavirus.
He gained the Nationwide League batting title with a .328 common, turning into the primary Dodger to win since Tommy Davis gained consecutive crowns in 1962 and 1963. He additionally led the majors in hits (195) and the N.L. in steals (32), batting common in opposition to left-handed pitching (.392), multi-hit video games (58), infield hits (33) and whole bases (319). The final Dodger to steer the league in each batting common and steals? The Corridor of Famer Jackie Robinson.
Turner runs just like the wind and several other of his slides have gone viral, significantly certainly one of him floating throughout the plate in Philadelphia earlier than rising again to his ft in the identical movement.
“It’s simply majestic,” Justin Turner stated of Turner’s slides. “I inform him I attempt to do the identical factor besides I solely go about 4 ft as a result of I’m not quick sufficient. He goes about 17 ft. It’s enjoyable to observe.”
Trea Turner’s slides typically are dissected and loved inside a bunch textual content that the Dodgers gamers have amongst themselves. Justin Turner stated that Trea’s slides are “continually being fed in there with all of the totally different songs and all of the totally different GIFs which have come out, so it’s fairly humorous.”
It has been simple to slot in together with his new workforce, Trea stated, from the baseball to his involvement within the Dodgers’ fantasy soccer league to the group texts.
“Something you’ll be able to joke about or share collectively and create chemistry, I’m all for it,” he stated earlier than the Dodgers’ 1-Zero loss in Recreation three on Monday evening. “I believe that’s what helps win championships, when you’ll be able to snort and have enjoyable with one another and, no matter it’s, whether or not it’s a joke or a slide or a play, in case you can share these experiences, it’s a superb factor.”
Between the steals and GIFs and wins, the Dodgers most probably can’t consider their luck that Turner, who helped the Nationals win the 2019 World Collection, is now of their infield. Going into July, the Dodgers meant to be critical gamers for Scherzer if the Nationals made him obtainable as a result of they wanted to fill the void left by Trevor Bauer, who has not pitched since June 28 after being accused of sexual assault.
Privately, the Dodgers have been interested by buying and selling for Turner, too. In accordance with Andrew Friedman, the workforce’s president of baseball operations, the Dodgers have been advised on the Monday of commerce deadline week that Scherzer was obtainable however that Turner was not.
“Then on Wednesday we sensed a bit little bit of a gap and, by Thursday, we had lined up and purchased him,” Friedman stated.
The Nationals had tried to signal Turner to a long-term contract beforehand however have been unable to succeed in a deal. Then, as soon as the Mets signed Francisco Lindor for 10 years and $341 million this spring, it was clear that, even with membership management of Turner by 2022, the shortstop market had modified considerably. That, and rising proof by July that his workforce wanted to restock its system, brought on Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ president of baseball operations, to maneuver aggressively.
The price to Los Angeles was excessive, with the workforce together with its prime prospect, catcher Keibert Ruiz, and the extremely regarded pitcher Josiah Grey within the four-player bundle the Dodgers despatched to Washington. With out the good thing about understanding how these prospects will end up it’s troublesome to judge the deal, however the short-term outcomes have been unimaginable for the Dodgers.
“Clearly, he’s been an enormous a part of what we did the final two months,” Friedman stated of Turner, “and we look ahead to him being a giant a part of what we do that October.”
On prime of his play on the sphere, Turner’s character has disarmed what might have been a clumsy state of affairs. Corey Seager, a two-time All-Star at shortstop, is eligible without cost company this winter and, because the Dodgers plan out their subsequent steps, has endured hypothesis about his future. On the very least, Turner, who was Washington’s shortstop however is taking part in second base for the Dodgers, represents an infield insurance coverage coverage for 2022.
“We did it to maximise our probabilities of profitable in ’21,” Friedman stated when requested about an ulterior motive in buying Turner. “And as soon as we get to this low season, we’ll wrap our arms round it then.”
Turner was agreeable to the place change and, by all accounts, he and Seager have gotten alongside effectively.
“Me and Corey, it’s been nice,” Turner stated. “He’s an unbelievable participant and he’s helped me out loads simply in studying all people, studying the coaches, studying what they anticipate of us right here. He’s been actually good, actually skilled.”
The larger problem, Turner stated, has been studying methods to play second base.
“It appears like on daily basis I get a bit extra comfy including instruments to my sport, whether or not it’s with the double play or taking angles,” he stated. “I’ve simply acquired to maintain working towards and studying issues and keep on prime of it and maintain making performs at any time when these pitchers want me.”
On most nights, he seems to be pure. “You’ve acquired two shortstops on the sphere,” Justin Turner stated. “In order that’s a luxurious.”
Maybe essentially the most public show of how well-regarded Turner is by teammates new and previous got here in the course of the N.L. wild-card sport in opposition to St. Louis when Nationals outfielder Juan Soto confirmed up within the entrance row behind residence plate carrying a Nationals jersey with Turner’s identify on it (he was accompanied by the Nationals hitting coach Kevin Lengthy, who wore a Scherzer jersey).
“Unbelievable,” Turner stated. “That was one of many coolest issues that’s ever occurred to me in my profession.”
Scherzer has spoken eloquently concerning the lifetime bonds shaped by a World Collection-winning workforce, and that evening was a first-rate instance. So, too, was Scherzer’s animated cellphone name to Turner on the evening they discovered they might be Dodgers.
“I bear in mind how excited he was, and that made me really feel excited as effectively,” Turner stated. “I used to be excited to come back over right here, however to share that very same expertise with him, to go and chase one other ring, was one thing that we actually loved. We love profitable, so it’s enjoyable to be right here.”