Trea Turner, infielder of the New Los Angeles Dodgers, is finally done after “one of the crazier weeks of my life”
LOS ANGELES – It would be an understatement to say that Trea Turner had one of the more stressful two-week periods of his Major League career.
The All-Star Shortstop tested positive for COVID-19 on July 28th. Two days later he was traded by the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a blockbuster deal that included all-star pitcher Max Scherzer.
While Scherzer made his Dodgers debut on Wednesday, Turner had to wait to clear the COVID-19 logs. He was activated on Friday before the Dodgers opened a weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels and was in the starting XI on Saturday.
“It was one of the crazier weeks of my life just dealing with COVID in general and then being traded across the country,” said Turner. “The last two weeks have been weird because I’ve been walking back and forth – oh, they won’t trade me; yes, they are – you have to be prepared for whatever. “
Turner feels lucky – both with his health and with his new club. He said he lost some weight but should be able to regain it quickly as he moves from a rebuilding situation in Washington to a playoff pursuit with the World Series defending champion.
Turner is second in the NL with a .321 batting average with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs in 97 games. He made his Dodgers debut as a pinch hitter during Friday’s game and appeared in foul territory to catch up.
After being the Nationals’ regular shortstop since 2017, Turner will move to the second base with the Dodgers. Manager Dave Roberts discussed the change with Turner and said he took the opportunity to return to a position he last played in 2016.
Corey Seager will remain the Dodgers’ regular shortstop, but Turner will play there occasionally when Seager has a day off.
“You look up and down the line-up and you have all-stars, MVPs and guys who did a lot in the postseason. So you just try to fit in where you can and contribute, ”said Turner. “I just like to play every day and try to contribute as much as possible.”
Roberts will have Turner as the leadoff this weekend, while Mookie Betts will drop to third in the order and Max Muncy will stay second. Roberts said he wanted to use Turner’s speed to create some early chances. He beats .317 in 43 games if he takes the lead.
“I want to make sure Trea is comfortable,” said Roberts. “It’s different for him about the craft. It’s really important for him and the Dodgers to make him comfortable.”
In his first comments since trading, Turner also expressed some frustration with the Nationals. General manager Mike Rizzo said after the trade that one of the reasons Turner was sent to Los Angeles was because he and his agents refused to discuss an extension until they had a clearer picture of the shortstop market.
“I was pretty honest. I said I would talk about an extension anytime and wait for it to happen and it didn’t happen,” said Turner. “I’ve been told a lot in the last two years. For me, actions speak louder than words. Somehow that is a thing of the past, it’s over and I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter.”