first_imgThe idea of starting Turner in six consecutive games would have given former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly pause. As a super utility infielder with the Mets, Turner played a combined 180 games over his final two seasons in New York (2012-13).When Rob Segedin started Monday’s game against the Colorado Rockies at third base, it was the first time in a week Turner’s name wasn’t in the starting lineup. Nothing about it seemed normal. Turner has started 22 of the Dodgers’ 26 games this month.“Any player with history, and there’s something they haven’t done before, it exceeds expectations,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.McDaniel and Turner regularly trained six days a week at Dodger Stadium beginning in December. Turner was somewhat limited until January, however, because he was still recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee.The surgery was a built-in excuse for staying at home and taking it easy, but Turner resisted the easy way out. “It’s a pure testament to him, and what he set out to do after the 2014 season,” McDaniel said.That year, his first with the Dodgers, Turner batted .340 in 109 games. Last year he played 126 games, a career high. This year he’s on pace for 151.When Turner’s bat was slow to come around (he was hitting .220 with three home runs on June 3), it obscured the purpose of his off-season regimen: to keep him healthy and productive in September and October.Since June 3, Turner is batting .304 with 21 home runs in 69 games. “Anytime you give Justin a day (off) it’s hard,” Roberts said.Simulated games TuesdayClayton Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson will face hitters in simulated games Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, Roberts said. For Kershaw, the sim game follows a 60-pitch bullpen session Friday. It’s the first time he has faced live hitters since re-starting his throwing program as he tries to come back from a mild disc herniation in his lower back. Kershaw was 11-2 with a 1.79 earned-run average when he pitched his last game for the Dodgers in June.The next step for Kershaw could be one of “a couple different scenarios,” Roberts said. One would see him rejoin the Dodgers’ rotation, presumably no earlier than Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres. There are minor league games scheduled for that day too, at every level of the organization, and Kershaw might see his next game action there.McCarthy (right hip) and Anderson (finger blister) are both on the 15-day disabled list. McCarthy is eligible to be activated at any time, while Anderson can’t rejoin the team before Sept. 5. AlsoAndre Ethier is a possibility to rejoin the Dodgers on Sept. 1, but Roberts said it’s up to the veteran outfielder to determine when he’s ready for major league pitching. Ethier is hitting .400 (4 for 10) in three games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. … Pitcher Brock Stewart was optioned to Double-A Tulsa to make room for Kenta Maeda on the 25-man roster. The Tulsa Drillers’ season ends Sept. 5, so Stewart will be eligible to rejoin the Dodgers after that day. … Pitcher Alex Wood, on the 60-day disabled list following arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow in June, “is about a week away” from throwing off a mound, Roberts said. The left-hander is targeting a mid-September return as a relief pitcher. … Kershaw, McCarthy and Wood were all in Denver briefly Monday. They joined the team flight to participate in the Dodgers’ annual fantasy football draft, then flew back to Los Angeles. DENVER >> There can be no discussion of Justin Turner’s 2016 season without mentioning luck. Teammate Andre Ethier, for example, was healthy until he fouled a ball off his leg in March. Ethier hasn’t played for the Dodgers since.Turner isn’t naive. At 31 years old, the third baseman recently set a career high for plate appearances in a single season, and can match his career high by playing four more games. Turner was careful Monday to credit the factors out of his control.But as he reflected before a rare game without him in the Dodgers’ starting lineup, Turner was comforted to know that a winter’s worth of hard work is paying dividends. The factors in his control have gone better than imagined, too.“I feel great,” Turner said. “Body feels good. Haven’t had any problems, any setbacks. There’s still time to go, but I think all the off-season stuff with Brandon (McDaniel, the Dodgers’ strength and conditioning coach) has really paid off in the long run, to be able to maintain and feel good throughout the course of the year.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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