Not only did Mike Trout go 6-for-9 with two doubles and four runs in back-to-back wins over the Giants the past two nights, in doing so he logged enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title (and other leaderboards).
Trout, who spent the first three weeks of the season at Triple-A, now ranks second in the league with a .338 batting average, trailing only Paul Konerko at .354, and he also ranks third in on-base percentage (.397) and fifth in OPS (.925) while leading the league with 19 steals.
Toss in his excellent outfield defense and even with missing the Angels’ first 20 games Trout ranks third among AL position players in Wins Above Replacement behind only Josh Hamilton and Adam Jones. He’s very much a legitimate early MVP candidate despite playing around two-thirds of the schedule.
Not bad for a guy who doesn’t turn 21 years old for another six weeks.
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.