LOS ANGELES – It would be an understatement to say that Trea turner he’s had one of the most stressful two weeks of his major league career.
The All-Star shortstop tested positive for COVID-19 on July 28. Two days later, he was traded from the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a highly successful deal that also included the All-Star pitcher, Max scherzer.
While Scherzer made his debut for the Dodgers on Wednesday, Turner had to wait to pass the COVID-19 protocols. He was activated on Friday before the Dodgers opened a weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels and was in the starting lineup on Saturday.
“It’s been one of the craziest weeks of my life, having to just deal with COVID in general and then being traded across the country,” Turner said. “The last two weeks have been weird because I came and went, oh, they are not going to change me; yes, they are, you have to be prepared for whatever.”
Turner feels he was lucky, both with his health and with his new club. He said he has lost some weight, but should be able to regain it quickly as he moves from a rebuilding situation in Washington to a playoff chase with the defending World Series champs.
Turner is second in the National League with a .321 batting average with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs in 97 games. He made his debut for the Dodgers as a pinch hitter during Friday’s game and fouled catcher.
After being the Nationals’ regular shortstop since 2017, Turner will move to 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 He will remain the Dodgers’ regular shortstop, but Turner will occasionally play there when Seager has a day off.
“You look up and down the lineup, and you have All-Stars, MVPs and guys who have done a lot in the postseason. So you try to place yourself where you can and contribute where you can,” Turner said. “I just like to play every day and I try to contribute as much as I can.”
Roberts will have Turner lead this weekend, while Mookie betts drops to third place in the order and Max muncy remains second. Roberts said he wants to use Turner’s speed to create some early opportunities. He’s hitting .317 in 43 games when starting.
“I want to make sure Trea is comfortable,” Roberts said. “This is kind of different for him, when it comes to trading. Making him feel comfortable is really important to him and the Dodgers.”
In his first comments since being traded, 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 that he and his agents didn’t want to discuss an extension until they had a clearer picture of the shortstop market.
“I’ve been pretty honest. I said I would talk about an extension at any time and I waited for that to happen, and it didn’t happen,” Turner said. “I’ve been told a lot of things in the last two years. For me, actions speak louder than words. That’s a thing of the past, it’s over and I’m excited to start a new chapter.”