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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Looking to Replace Justin Turner's Leadership in Clubhouse

With Justin Turner leaving for the Red Sox, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expects other veterans to step up and fill the leadership void in the LA clubhouse.

When the Dodgers declined their option for 2023 on Justin Turner and he ultimately departed to the Red Sox, the team lost one of their biggest leaders of the last nine years. Turner was a pillar of the Los Angeles community, but he was also a pillar of the LA clubhouse and dugout, a guy manager Dave Roberts recently referred to as "an extension" of the coaching staff.

Losing Turner is a big deal, but Roberts isn't concerned about a leadership void with the team. As Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweeted, Roberts was asked about how the team will fill that leadership role in Turner's absence.

"If you look around the clubhouse, there’s a lot of guys that have been around. I don’t see the culture with a couple guys departing should be affected. ... "I wouldn’t say a call to action but it’s an opportunity for guys like Freddie [Freeman] and Mookie [Betts] to step up with their voices and not only lead by example. If there’s something to be said, they’ve earned that right."

Will Freeman and Betts be actively encouraged to take a bigger leadership role, or does Roberts expect it to happen naturally? It sounds like the answer is "both."

In addition to Freeman and Betts, the Dodgers have a handful of other players with a history of being team leaders. Clayton Kershaw, of course, has earned the right to lead the clubhouse by virtue of his 15 years in Dodger blue and his status as a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. JD Martinez was a team leader in Boston, and his clubhouse presence is one of the things that appealed to Los Angeles in signing him. Miguel Rojas is coming over from Miami, where he filled that role of team leader and mentor. Both Rojas and Martinez have already been working with rookie Miguel Vargas to help him be the best he can be.

This Dodgers team is entering a "youth movement" of sorts, but it's still an outstanding, experienced team with plenty of potential clubhouse leaders. It might take more than one person to do all the third Turner used to do, but they have those people available.