Justin Turner's epic collapse proving to be worst case scenario for Blue Jays

The Blue Jays needed Justin Turner and his bat to be a key contributor to their offense this year. After a red-hot start, he's come crashing down to earth.
Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

Justin Turner joined the Toronto Blue Jays late in the 2023-2024 offseason on a one-year, $13M contract. Right off the bat, the deal felt like a bargain for a player who, while aging and nearing 40-years old, has remained at the top of his game on offense.

Turner, 39, has been statistically above-average every single year since 2012 and had hit 23 home runs with 96 RBI as recently as last year. Scoring him on a relatively low-cost single-year pact felt like a steal.

Sure enough, he came out of the gate swinging one hell of a stick. In the first month of the current campaign, he hit four home runs with 15 RBI, a .298 batting average and .887 OPS. Through and through, he was one of the best hitters on what was supposed to be an offense-heavy roster.

Recently, though, Turner has come back down to earth in the midst of an epic collapse. He had been dealing with a sickness that ran through the Blue Jays' clubhouse for over a week, but his numbers have cratered to the point where it's beginning to be worrisome.

Justin Turner losing his way on offense is the Blue Jays' worst case scenario

Over the past 28 days, Turner's stats have fallen off of a cliff. It's easy to point to his illness as a reason for the decline, but a closer look reveals that his numbers had been dipping prior to him catching the bug.







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Virtually nothing has been going right for Turner as of late. He's a valued member in the clubhouse, as he's a 16-year veteran and World Series champion, but if his numbers continue to decline, it's only a matter of time before his role on the roster is called into question.

That's not to say that he'd deserve to be outright released, but a diminished role could be in the cards if he can't turn it around. As is the case with most, if not all players who get to be his age, time does end up catching up to these guys.

Should Turner begin to lose some at-bats, the Blue Jays would have to get creative in filling that void. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Cavan Biggio have gotten ample playing time around the infield, but Daniel Vogelbach and Ernie Clement have both struggled to get their own bats going. Should one of the latter be DFA'd, it's possible someone like Spencer Horwitz or even Orelvis Martinez could come up and get a shot at consistent playing time like Davis Schneider did last year.

Having Turner's struggles continue would be a huge slap in the face for the Blue Jays, as this year has already been off to a horrendous start. The club is by no means "out of it" yet, but they've struggled to get out of fifth place in the AL East. Getting Turner turned around would go a long way to turning the entire club's fortunes around.