Justin Turner hit .280/.319/.385 last season for the New York Mets. (Getty Images)
JJustin Turner will bat second and play second base, when the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Opening Day at 1 a.m. Pacific Time Saturday in Sydney, Australia.
The choice of Turner is somewhat surprising, since he was only added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster on the final weekend of spring training. Dee Gordon and Alex Guerrero had been the presumed favorites to get the Opening Day start from the beginning of camp.
Turner, a 29-year-old from Long Beach, has never started on Opening Day in parts of five major-league seasons. He batted .355/.447/.484 in 16 spring training games.
Gordon, who bats left-handed, was not expected to start against the left-handed hitting Miley. Since Turner was chosen over Guerrero, there is a strong chance that Guerrero will be optioned to the minor leagues when the Dodgers hand in their roster to Major League Baseball tomorrow.
Here is the Dodgers’ expected Opening Day lineup:
Yasiel Puig RF
Justin Turner 2B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Scott Van Slyke LF
Juan Uribe 3B
Andre Ethier CF
A.J. Ellis C
Clayton Kershaw P
The Sydney Cricket Ground, as configured for four days of baseball games.
Apropos of nothing — the time in Sydney, the time in Los Angeles, my newspaper’s deadlines — I’m checking in with one last update before boarding a flight to Australia.
The Dodgers play the Australian National Team tonight in Sydney. It’s their last exhibition game before beginning the regular season on Saturday (1 a.m. Pacific Time/7 p.m. Sydney Time). Manager Don Mattingly named Zach Lee will start the game.
Here’s how the Dodgers will line up:
There will be no disaster draft. The Dodgers’ airplane has landed in Sydney, Australia.
Here’s how social media captured the moment Monday: