Justin Turner hasn’t played since leaving Saturday’s game with left knee soreness and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’s scheduled to undergo an MRI tonight.
It’s a recurring issue for Turner. In fact, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Hernandez over the weekend that he’s been dealing with knee issues “for a couple of years.” With the postseason rapidly approaching, they’ll have to hope that things haven’t gotten worse. Alex Guerrero filled in at third base on Sunday, but Chase Utley is making his first career start at the position tonight.
Turner has emerged as the Dodgers’ primary third baseman this season while batting .290/.366/.488 with a career-high 15 home runs and 55 RBI over 118 games. His second half has been filled with ups and downs, including a stint on the disabled list due to a MRSA infection in his right leg.
After scratching Jimmy Nelson from Tuesday’s scheduled start, the Brewers have decided to go ahead and shut him down for the remainder of the season.
Nelson was hit in the head by a comebacker last Thursday in a start against the Cardinals. Fortunately, he managed to avoid serious injury, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the neurologist felt that there was too much risk to having him pitch again this quickly. At this point of the year, it makes all the sense in the world to play things safe and give him an early start on his offseason.
Nelson will finish off his first full season in the majors with a 4.11 ERA and 148/65 K/BB ratio in 177 1/3 innings over 30 starts. The 26-year-old is an intriguing building block for new general manager David Stearns.
With Justin Turner and Jimmy Rollins both banged up, Chase Utley will do something in tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks that he has never done in his major league career. After appearing in 1,574 games, he will make his first ever start at third base.
Utley, now 36, hasn’t played third base since he was a 23-year-old in Triple-A in 2002. However, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes that he has been taking ground balls at the position over the past couple of weeks. Utley has already made one start at first base since coming over to the Dodgers and this isn’t a bad time to test his versatility further, as starting second baseman Howie Kendrick recently returned from the disabled list.
Utley is batting just .207/.291/.359 with two home runs and five RBI in 103 plate appearances since the trade.