Dodgers: Friedman Discusses Turner and Pollock’s Defensive Expectations

The Dodgers had one of the best defenses in all of baseball last season in terms of defensive runs saved. However, two key pieces were not as great as the rest of the team. Those players were third baseman Justin Turner and outfielder AJ Pollock.

In Turner’s case, his defensive downturn can easily be contributed to age and because of it, the Dodgers are considering a positional change for him to first base. Similarly to Turner, the Dodgers made a positional change for AJ Pollock, moving him from center field to left field — it worked well.

Justin Turner

According to the president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, the downturn of Justin Turner’s defensive output is ‘an aberration’. He reportedly is expecting a bounce-back year for Turner defensively, wherever his spot may be. With the Dodgers taking a hard look at free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, that could mean a positional move from the hot corner over to first base.

Turner finished the season with -7 defensive runs saved — a subpar mark — especially when comparing it to his positive output in the category in the preceding five seasons.

AJ Pollock

Andrew Friedman also extended the same verbiage regarding Justin Turner to last season’s acquisition AJ Pollock. Friedman believes that Pollock will be a lot better defensively, but in what spot in the outfield remains to be seen. Supposedly, Pollock has been working on improved flexibility to increase his range. The Dodgers already have two Gold Glove caliber center fielders in Alex Verdugo and Cody Bellinger, so Pollock likely will be relegated to left field.

Pollock in center field was worth -9 defensive runs saved, which is a pretty awful mark. In left field, however, he fared much better with just a -1 defensive runs saved mark.

Dodgers’ Defensive Outlook

Heading into 2020, we have no idea what the final complexion of the Dodgers’ roster will be, but according to Andrew Friedman, you can expect improvements from both Justin Turner and AJ Pollock out in the field.

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