If the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to repeat as World Series champions, they will have to do it without one of their heart and soul players. On Thursday, the team announced third baseman Justin Turner has been replaced on the roster by utility man Andy Burns. .
Turner suffered the injury trying to beat out a double play ground ball in the seventh inning. Here's the video:
By rule, a player who is removed from the postseason roster with an injury must miss the next round, so Turner's season is over even if the Dodgers come back to beat the Atlanta Braves and advance to the World Series. The 36-year-old did not start Game 2 of the NLCS with an unrelated neck issue. The hamstring problem is a new injury.
Turner, typically an outstanding postseason performer, has really struggled this October. He went 4 for 34 (.118) with a home run and only two walks (.211 on-base percentage) in 10 games prior to the hamstring injury. Turner came into the year as a career .295/.392/.507 hitter in 72 postseason games, and he holds several franchise playoff records.
With Turner sidelined, the Dodgers have shifted super utility man Chris Taylor to third base, a position he has played only 36 times in the big leagues. Taylor had been playing mostly left field, and his move to third pushes Cody Bellinger back to center field, and gives Albert Pujols a start at first base in Game 5.
Burns, 31, spent most of the season in Triple-A, where he authored a .232/.361/.412 batting line in 54 games. He appeared in nine games with the Dodgers in June, going 3 for 11 (.273) with a double while playing four positions (first, second, third, left field). It was Burns' first MLB action since 2016 with the Blue Jays.
The Dodgers are down 3-1 to the Braves in the best-of-seven NLCS. One more loss ends their season and means MLB will still not have had a repeat World Series champion since the 1998-2000 Yankees. .