There’s never a good time for a key player to break his wrist, but I suppose if it’s gotta happen in a given season for a playoff contender, you’d rather have it happen as early as possible.
But I’m sure it still stings even more for Dodgers fans this morning knowing that Justin Turner broke his wrist in a dang Spring Training game.
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) March 20, 2018
I’ll forgive anyone a MOMENT of schadenfreude given that our last memory of Turner was him beating the Cubs in the NLCS, but mostly you just have to feel bad for any player who is injured like that, especially just before the season starts.
Since coming to the Dodgers in 2014, Turner has been worth 3.2, 4.0, 5.5, and 5.5 WAR. Even on a loaded team like the Dodgers, he is disproportionately important.
Wrist injuries for position players can be extremely unpredictable. Some guys come back within a matter of four or five weeks without much of an issue. Other guys take a month or two, and are impacted with a loss of power for a while. For Turner, now 33, any lingering power-related effects would be a serious problem.
The Dodgers will cover Turner’s absence internally, and this is not likely to be the kind of injury that fundamentally shifts their playoff odds, *assuming* Turner comes back in a reasonable amount of time at full strength. It will probably mean more playing time for Chase Utley and Enrique Hernandez, by way of moving Logan Forsythe to third base. I’m reminded of – GOD FORBID – how well the Cubs could cover an injury by way of similar moving parts on the big league roster.
But if the Cubs lost someone like Kris Bryant for a month, even if well-covered by the bench, it would still really hurt.