Four Dodgers were selected to the National League All-Star team Sunday, and there's a chance a fifth could be added this week through MLB's Final Vote.Clayton Kershaw was named to his seventh team, Kenley Jansen to his second, Corey Seager to his second, along with rookie Cody Bellinger, who leads
Four Dodgers were selected to the National League All-Star team Sunday, and there's a chance a fifth could be added this week through MLB's Final Vote.
Clayton Kershaw was named to his seventh team, Kenley Jansen to his second, Corey Seager to his second, along with rookie Cody Bellinger, who leads the league in home runs despite spending three weeks in the Minor Leagues to begin the season.
The Dodgers have two other All-Star-worthy players in third baseman Justin Turner and left-hander Alex Wood. Turner is on the Final Vote ballot, and Wood, with a 9-0 record and 1.83 ERA, stands a good chance of being added if another pitcher on the roster needs to be replaced.
Being an All-Star would be a great accomplishment for Turner. Three years removed from being released by the New York Mets, Turner signed a Minor League contract with his hometown Dodgers in hopes of earning the starting second-base job. Although Dee Gordon, now a Miami Marlins second baseman, defeated Turner in the second-base competition, Turner impressed the Dodgers with his offensive production, earning a utility role. When third baseman Juan Uribe was injured, Turner filled in for him and contributed greatly to the team's offensive production, so Uribe never again was the starting third baseman for the Dodgers.
Last year, for the first time, Turner entered the season as a starting third baseman. Starting slowly after having knee surgery, Turner became the Dodgers' main offensive producer. He had 27 home runs, and many of them came in crucial situations. Turner also played superb defense at third base. If he wasn't in the same league with Colorado's Nolan Arenado, Turner would have won a Gold Glove in 2016.
This past offseason the Dodgers rewarded Turner's outstanding play with a long-term contract. Instead of putting extra stress on himself, Turner seemed more relaxed and more focused on helping the Dodgers win a World Series Championship. If he had not missed 18 games with a pulled hamstring, Turner would qualify for the highest batting average in baseball. He takes a .382 batting average into this week's action.
Wood, coming off an injury-plagued 2016, began this season in the bullpen. Wood made a few stellar relief appearances before Rich Hill developed blister issues. Wood received his opportunity to start and has yet to lose in 12 starts.
Both Wood and Turner deserve to be on the field in Miami when the Midsummer Classic is played on July 11.
Sarah D. Morris can be reached at [email protected].