Dodgers’ Dave Roberts decides it’s time for a change at the top

first_img Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense “I think for Chris it was just trying to give him a different perspective on the lineup. Let him let the game come to him,” Roberts said of the change at the top. “His intent every time he gets in the box hasn’t wavered. But I think there is a little bit of adding pressure to yourself when you’re at the top of the order to create something. Hitting him in the middle of the order just gives him a different look.”In Tayor’s place, Roberts chose Chase Utley, rewarding the veteran for the kind of focused at-bats that have been inconsistent throughout the rest of the lineup. Utley went into Friday’s game with a .268 average, .371 on-base percentage and .786 OPS.“I like Chase’s at-bats. And Joc (Pederson) has been the same thing,” said Roberts, who moved Pederson into the No. 2 spot Friday. “So I think for the time being against right-handed pitching, I like Chris hitting sixth.”TURNER RETURNThe plan is for Justin Turner to play third base for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday and Sunday then join the Dodgers on the team’s flight to Miami on Monday. “If all goes well,” Roberts said, that would put Turner on track to come off the DL on Tuesday, just four days shy of two months after he suffered a fracture in his left wrist when he was hit by a pitch late in spring training.The two-game rehab assignment is a short one after so much time on the sidelines, but Roberts said the at-bats Turner got in simulated games the past two days served to speed up the process. LOS ANGELES — In the afterglow of another unsettling loss Thursday night, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts let his frustration show.“This isn’t a ‘Try’ league,” Roberts said. “Everyone is trying. You’ve got to get production.”A day later, Roberts decided to try something himself. He dropped Chris Taylor from the leadoff spot Taylor had occupied on a regular basis since midseason of last year.Taylor was a catalyst at the top of the lineup last year. But he has failed to generate the same kind of production this season. He went into Friday’s game with a .229 batting average, .299 on-base percentage and .706 OPS. He leads the team with 40 strikeouts. Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“He’s taken about two dozen at-bats here the last two days,” Roberts said of the sessions which featured pitchers imported from Rancho Cucamonga to throw to Turner. “So you’re looking at that and then the eight (plate appearances he should get this weekend). That should suffice for JT.”KERSHAW CATCHFor the third consecutive day, left-hander Clayton Kershaw was on the field playing catch before the team’s pre-game workout Friday.When the Dodgers placed Kershaw on the DL with biceps tendinitis at the beginning of the week, they offered no timetable for his recovery or estimate for how soon he might return to the starting rotation. The fact that he has been able to throw on three consecutive days gives reason to be “very” optimistic that he will be able to return sooner rather than later, Roberts acknowledged.“What ‘sooner’ is, I don’t know,” Roberts said. “Right now, it’s per his tolerance and what he can handle as far as his progression. … It’s kind of on him as far as how much he can do and how aggressive he can be.”ALSOInfielder Logan Forsythe began his rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday. He played seven innings at second base and went 0 for 3, grounding out twice and taking a called third strike.Forsythe has been out since April 15 with a sore right shoulder.UP NEXTReds (RHP Homer Bailey, 0-5, 5.61 ERA) at Dodgers (RHP Ross Stripling, 0-1, 1.93 ERA), Saturday, 6:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available)Related Articles Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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