Turner Waiting For Another Shot
Turner has adapted well to the Mets system
Turner has adapted well to the Mets system
Buffalo Feature Writer
Posted Jul 14, 2010


BUFFALO, NY - The Mets organization knew it needed infield depth at Triple-A given Ruben Tejada's spot on the Buffalo-to-New York shuttle. That player was second baseman Justin Turner. Turner, who began the season with the Baltimore Orioles, was brought over to the Mets in early June. Since then, he's been a regular contributor and a valuable piece to the Bisons roster.

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It’s been a roller coaster ride for Bisons infielder Justin Turner so far this season. The current second baseman in Buffalo started out the year with the Baltimore Orioles before being sent down to Norfolk after only five games. He played in 23 games for the Tides before the Mets claimed him off waivers and assigned him to Buffalo.

The season has been mentally draining for Turner but he continues to focus when he comes to the ballpark.

“Off the field, things have been a bit stressful,” Turner said. “Finding places to live while bouncing around and pretty much living out of a suitcase has been tough. But once I get to the field it’s all about baseball. I don’t let anything get to me and I don’t think about any of that.”

Since coming to Buffalo, Turner has fit right in and has demonstrated his ability and versatility for the Bisons. He has done whatever the team has needed him to do and has settled in nicely into the leadoff role.

His experience has allowed him to be a leader on and off the field for the Bisons and manager Ken Oberkfell really likes what Turner brings to his team.

“He’s done a real nice job in the leadoff spot,” Oberkfell said. “He isn’t normally a leadoff guy but he works the count and puts the ball in play. Defensively he turns the double play well and he brings us some good leadership on the field and he’s been a good acquisition for us.”

His willingness to be a leader is so important, especially at the Triple-A level. There are so many young players that are just learning how to be a professional player and to have guys that are willing to help them speeds up the process and is an asset to the organization as a whole.

“I do like to be a leader,” Turner said. “It’s pretty exciting right now to watch guys like Lucas Duda come up here and do what he’s doing. I’ve been trying to show him the ropes and the way to go about his business and hopefully prepare him to be able to help the Mets.”

Turner is riding a seven-game hit streak and is 16-for-44 over his last 10 games. He has three home runs, six RBI and ten runs scored. As good as he has been, Turner feels like he should always be improving.

“I haven’t felt like I have been as consistent here as I could be,” Turner said. “I definitely feel like I have a lot of room for improvement. I’m trying to get to the point where I am having a good at-bat every time and not giving anything away.”

After two stints in the big leagues, Turner is one of the more veteran players in the Bisons clubhouse. Looking back on his time with the Orioles brought a smile to the 26-year-old’s face.

“It’s something you dream of as a kid,” Turner said. “I was fortunate enough last season when the Orioles gave me a chance to break in. I tried to take advantage of the opportunities they gave me. That’s where every guy here wants to end up playing. You just have to keep working every day and grinding it out.”

Before joining the Mets organization, Turner made a brief stop in the Orioles system last season. Before that he spent his first three years in the Cincinnati Reds organization, but, Turner has really enjoyed his time with the Mets so far.

“I’ve enjoyed playing for the Bisons and it’s been a real professional organization so far,” Turner said. “I’ve only been here a month but I have nothing to complain about. We have a great group of guys down here in Buffalo and we are winning lots of ball games. So far, I’m glad the move happened.”

Bisons fans are glad the move happened as well and Turner will continue to keep working hard in hopes of another run at the Major League level.

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