By Jon Weisman
After weeks of preparation for this potentiality, Justin Turner’s knee soreness and Howie Kendrick’s return from the disabled list have launched Chase Utley into his first career game at third base.
More than 300 people have played third base for the Dodger franchise. Utley, who is 36 years and 278 days old, is the oldest Dodger ever to play his first career game at third, according to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index.
Bill Russell was 36 years, 239 days old when he played third base for the initial time in his Dodger career, on June 17, 1985.
“We’ve been working towards this,” Don Mattingly said of Utley, adding that coach Tim Wallach felt that Utley’s latest workout at third was his best. “We don’t worry about him — he knows how to play, he knows where to be. … So tonight’s the right night.
Turner was to have an MRI today to get more definitive information about his condition, but results weren’t immediately available. With shortstop Jimmy Rollins nearing a return to availability on defense, Corey Seager could also pick up time at third base if Turner remains sidelined. Kiké Hernandez is also progressing, and will go to Camelback Ranch to get some at-bats.