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Jake Peavy and the Padres are considering a reunion

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres and free agent pitcher Jake Peavy have been chatting about a possible reunion. You’ll recall that he spent his first eight years in San Diego, where he won a Cy Young Award in 2007 and won 92 games.

Reunions are fun, but this would be sort of like an awkward high school reunion, right? One which happens after you found yourself over the hill and have let yourself go a bit and you’re kind of worried about meeting that old significant other? Sure, you were AWESOME back in the day, but you just got done posting the equivalent of 5.54 ERA in life, while getting demoted in the process. Now you find yourself having to leave that glamorous city in which you were working and heading back home to figure out what to do next in life

But hey, that old significant other from high school isn’t looking that great either! Indeed, they’ve had a few bad years in a row now and, even if they let you go once before, they’re more than eager to have you back now. Heck, you’re probably the best they’ve seen in some time.

Maybe it’s time to check your pride and accept who you are and where you are now and give that old flame a chance? Maybe it’s time to see if, even as you enter your twilight years, you can’t rekindle at least a little something from your salad days?

 

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.