Trea Turner groundball

Sophomore shortstop Trea Turner catches a ground ball against Villanova Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. Turner went 2-for-3 with 1 earned run in the Wolfpack's 14-3 win against the Wildcats at Doak Field at Dail Park. Photo by Ryan Parry.

As the end of summer is quickly approaching, and the postseason races are starting to take shape, many players know this is a pivotal time to set their team up to make an impact in October. Carlos Rodón’s impact will be put on hold as he recovers from his injury on the IL and while Trea Turner’s is not as immediate as Los Angeles Dodgers fans have hoped, he is still making a name for himself and showing why the Dodgers traded for him before the deadline. Meanwhile, Andrew Knizner may not have the offensive prowess but his play behind the plate when he’s on the field matters as this trio of players enter mid-August with each of their teams fighting for position and playoff contention.

Carlos Rodón, left-handed pitcher, Chicago White Sox

An unfortunate week for Rodón as the day before the highly anticipated Field of Dreams game, which he was scheduled to start, he was put on the 10-day injured list with left arm soreness. He reported soreness Tuesday during the Minnesota series on the road. Before this injury, Rodón had a history of arm injuries, including one he had last year in the shortened 60-game season which he eventually missed most of due to shoulder soreness. 

Good news came earlier on Sunday, however, when manager Tony La Russa said that Rodón’s examination from Chicago came back clean and confirmed no serious damage. He should be back for the Toronto Blue Jays series Aug. 23. The Chicago White Sox are being cautious with Rodón as they will need his health to look up the American League Central.

Trea Turner, shortstop/second baseman, Los Angeles Dodgers

Turner got his first full week in a Dodgers uniform after being activated on Aug. 8, and quickly went 1 for 4, scoring two runs for the team and getting walked once in a 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Turner’s next three games were against the Philadelphia Phillies where he went 2 for 5 in the first game scoring one run for the Dodgers.

That one run in particular was the one that caught the eye of many for his slide that arguably could be called one of the smoothest slides of the season.

During that game in the sixth inning, he was running home on a single to right from catcher Will Smith. As he approached the bag he extended his right leg and dropped his hip just outside the batter box to help his left hand reach the edge of home plate in order to avoid the tag, sliding by the Phillies catcher. Turner then proceeded to rotate his body 180 degrees as he casually got up and went back to his dugout. The video of his slide would eventually go viral, leading to commentary from many people and teams on twitter, including the Dodgers who quoted BTS, the famous K-pop group.

Turner hit a bit of a cold stretch following that outing, however. In the last game against the Phillies he went 0 for 4 and even though he did have an RBI on a ground out to shortstop, the Dodgers would fall 2-1. He then went 1 for 8 at the plate in the first two games of the Dodgers’ series against the New York Mets, bringing in one RBI and striking out twice.

In the last game of the series on Sunday, Turner showed everyone why deserved his All-Star bid this season, and why the Dodgers opted to bring him in. He went 3 for 4 with an RBI on a double to center, also walking on a hit-by-pitch. Turner scored a team high four runs as the Dodgers beat the New York Mets in dominant 14-4 fashion. The Dodgers will need him to continue his All-Star caliber play as they continue to defend their World Series crown.

Andrew Knizner, catcher, St. Louis Cardinals

Knizner, the backup catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, had a quiet week going 0 for 10 in three game appearances, striking out three times with one walk and one RBI; a ground out to second in the 6th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates Aug. 12. Though his offense leaves more to be desired for the Cardinals, he has been a force behind the plate. Knizner’s at-bats will need to start becoming a more valuable asset to help the Cardinals’ playoff hopes as they sit only four and a half games out from the wild-card spot.