The season continues to be a good one at the box office for Major League Baseball, as the league just announced that attendance is up seven percent over last year through the same number of games.
That’s an average of 2000 extra fans a game over last season. Overall, 21 of 30 teams have seen increases. Thirteen teams have already broke one million in attendance.
Guesses as to the reasons: more teams in contention, including teams that have not been as good in the past finally giving their fans a reason to show up. Also: way fewer rainouts this year, meaning way fewer sparsely-attended makeup games and better gameday walkup traffic due to the better weather.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.