Magically, Trea Turner is on the path to rejuvenation in 2023 for the Phillies

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Phillies Trea Turner
Philadelphia Phillies’ Trea Turner follows through after hitting a home run against Detroit Tigers pitcher Joey Wentz during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 5, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

2023 isn’t the year that Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner hoped to have in his new city.

Before the start of the season, Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the National League champions in the offseason. A friend of Bryce Harper, Turner was brought in with quite the record: an All-Star campaign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting 298/.343/.466 with 39 doubles, four triples, 21 home runs, and 100 RBI, and 27 stolen bases across 160 games.

Phillies trea turner
Philadelphia Phillies’ Trea Turner (7) reaches first base on an infield single to beat the throw to Tampa Bay Rays’ Yandy Diaz, left, during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 6, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Now? It hasn’t been going smoothly. Turner is batting just .241 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI. He was even dropped to eighth in the batting order. Over his last 35 games at Citizens Bank Park, Turner has posted a .783 OPS with 20 runs scored, 15 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs, and 11 walks.

In addition to this, Turner had a rough start to the past week. Against the Miami Marlins on August 2nd, Turner went 0 for 5 in a crushing 12-inning loss. But the Marlins added extra innings to the game thanks to a Turner error in the 11th. It was a play Turner should have made.

But Philadelphia is called the City of Brotherly Love for a reason.

Phillies fans may have saved Trea Turner’s season

Fans didn’t want to see their highly-paid shortstop down in the dumps. During his first at-bat on Friday against the Kansas City Royals, fans gave him a proper start.

That was clearly the thing needed for the 30-year-old. In three games over the weekend against Kansas City, Turner went 4 for 12 with two doubles, a home run, and five RBIs. Manager Rob Thomson said on 94 WIP Morning Show he was thrilled with the outcome.

“When they see one of their teammates struggling or getting booed, they wear it. When that ovation happened I think it just gave everybody — including Trea, obviously — but everybody energy and made everybody feel great. And he’s responded.”

Rob Thomson, 8/8/23
Phillies Trea Turner
Philadelphia Phillies’ Trea Turner celebrates scoring a run off a double by Kyle Schwarber during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Friday, April 7, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

All positives since Phillies fans cheered Turner

And that standing O from fans was just the start. In the split doubleheader against his former team the Washington Nationals, 3-for-7 with a walk, two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. In five games since the first ovation, Turner is hitting .391/.417/.696 with a 1.113 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Five of his seven hits have gone for extra bases.

This turning of the corner might have brought the Phillies the Turner that they saw and signed. While this might also feel familiar when Nick Castellanos joined the Phillies, he turned into a productive member of the team in the postseason.

Yet, this isn’t an immediate fix. Cheering him during an at-bat does not make him a productive member of the team that easily. Sure, he blasted a clutch go-ahead three-run home run in Saturday’s game and the Phillies went on to win that game 9-6.  This snapped a 21-game home run drought dating back to July 8, the Saturday before the All-Star break. This homer slump was the Turner’s longest of the season and his longest since a 26-gamer last May and June.

He’s on a roller coaster ride and right now, he might be in some peaks. Only time will tell if this ride will keep going up.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum