Justin Turner (39, Boston), best known to Korean baseball fans as the best friend of Hyun-jin Ryu (36, Toronto), is now our age. But his bat is still hot.
Turner, who left the Los Angeles Dodgers for Boston ahead of the season, is batting .267 (202-for-54) with six home runs, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .759 through 54 games. That’s third on the team in batting average and hits, tied for third in home runs, and fourth in RBI and OPS. While his numbers aren’t quite where they were during his prime with the Dodgers, he still hasn’t shown much rust considering his age.
In a recent interview with StarNews at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, Turner talked about his longevity in the big leagues, saying, “A lot of guys don’t get a chance and get traded or get injured. For me, though, I was given a chance when I was traded to the Dodgers, and fortunately, I was able to perform well and get more opportunities.”
A native of California, USA, Turner was drafted by Cincinnati in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He was later traded to Baltimore and made his major league debut in September 2009, but was released in May 2010 due to poor performance and rejoined the New York Mets. He showed promise in 2011, batting .260 with four home runs and 51 RBIs in 117 games, but was released again after the 2013 season.
After signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers in February 2014 and attending major league spring training as an invitee, Turner turned his despair into skill, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster that year. He spent the next nine seasons with the Dodgers, until last year. During that time, he was a two-time All-Star and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2017 National League Championship Series (NLCS). In 2020, the team won the World Series. Turner’s “Cinderella story” and “Turner time” have become synonymous.
For that reason, Turner’s parting of ways with the Dodgers came as a bit of a shock to many fans. “I respect the Dodgers’ decision and I’m grateful to the Boston organization for choosing me,” Turner said, adding, “I just have to keep doing what I do, which is play baseball, and do it well.” 메이저사이트
When I asked him if he was still more comfortable in Dodger Blue than Boston’s red, he said, “No, I’m not. “No, I’ve gotten used to the red,” he said, adding that the Boston organization and his teammates have been great to him, and he’s been able to adapt quickly to his new team.” Nearby, Enrique Hernandez (32-Boston) chimed in with a smile, saying, “I was the one who did the best job.” Hernandez also played with Ryu and Turner on the Dodgers from 2015 to 2020.
Turner welcomed the news that Ryu is expected to return in mid-July, saying, “I’m sure it’s going to be a little strange seeing him on the other side of the plate, but I’m going to do my best.” “I expect him to give me his best pitch,” Turner said.
If Ryu’s return is as expected, the two will likely go head-to-head in the Aug. 5-7 and Sept. 16-18 series when Toronto and Boston meet. Turner went 1-for-3 against Ryu in 2013 with the Dodgers when he was a member of the Mets.
“Thanks to my old teammate and good friend Ryu Hyun-jin, I have a lot of Korean fans,” Turner said, adding, “I’m always grateful to the Korean fans for their unwavering support.”