One of the things that Washington Nationals’ fans have been waiting for for a while is the arrival of shortstop Trea Turner. Today, they get their wish as the 22-year-old shortstop, who is the Nats’ number two prospect (according to MLB Pipeline), was called up from triple-A Syracuse. In order to make room for Turner on the 25-man roster, the Nationals put Tyler Moore on the 15-day disabled list due to a left ankle sprain. In addition, reliever Aaron Barrett heads to the 60-day disabled list because of a right elbow strain:
The Nationals acquired Turner and pitcher Joe Ross from the Padres this offseason in the three-team deal that involved Wil Myers and Steven Souza Jr. With triple-A Syracuse, Turner had a slash line of .314/.353/.431 in 48 games with three home runs, 15 RBI’s, and 14 steals in 16 chances. This month, the 22-year-old has a slash line of .352/.390/.451 in 16 games. Turner is one of the candidates to be the team’s shortstop in 2016, if Ian Desmond leaves the team via free agency this winter.
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Earlier this week, we talked with Victor Barbosa of 27 Outs Baseball about what has impressed him about Trea Turner during our midseason Syracuse Chiefs update. Here are some of Victor’s thoughts on Turner:
"“Two things stand out to me about the 22-year-old – his baseball IQ and maturity, along with his speed on the base paths. It’s impressive given his age, how rare it is that you find Turner swinging at bad pitches, making mistakes on the bases or making a mental error in the field. His ability to move from first to third or second to home on a single is a special sight for any baseball fan or analyst.”"
Even though Turner does not get the start tonight against the Brewers, he should make an impact down the stretch for the Nats bench. Even though he has mainly played shortstop this season, he did get the start at second base Wednesday night, so he does show some versatility. It will be interesting to see how Matt Williams uses him when the Nats have another infielder who plays multiple positions in Danny Espinosa.
As for Tyler Moore, the 28-year-old has not recorded a hit in a game since July 24 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is hitting .200 this season with four home runs and 22 RBI’s. Plus, Turner should be a better bat than Moore off the bench when you consider that Moore is 4-for-41 (.098) in pinch-hit situations this season. Those 41 pinch-hit at-bats are the second most of any player in baseball. As a team, the Nats’ .172 batting average from pinch-hitters is the worst in the National League and the third worst in baseball.