Before a hamstring injury landed him on the 10-day disabled list, 2017 was not the start Trea Turner envisioned.
In five games, the speedy Turner looked overmatched leading off for the Nationals. Hitting .158—that is 3-for-19—he swiped three bags but failed to draw a walk and fanning seven times. Those are not numbers you want from the one hole.
With Adam Eaton hitting well from the top spot, you wonder when Turner returns Wednesday where he will hit. This is a good excuse to keep Eaton on top for now while sliding Turner second, except Anthony Rendon has found a groove from the slot.
Chances are Dusty Baker eases Turner back in the lineup. A Wednesday start will see a rest day Thursday before the big weekend series in Queens. Whatever it takes to get him comfortable playing baseball.
Although the offense has been bad early, his Adjusted OPS+ is -1 or 101 percent below league average, Turner has shown good range at short. Part of five double plays, he has yet to make an error.
You must figure Grant Green, who has not made an appearance since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Syracuse, is the odd man out upon Turner’s return. Stephen Drew’s timetable for return remains a state secret, ensuring Wilmer Difo is the defensive replacement now.
Last year Turner loved the Braves as much as most little boys love puppies—not me—as he smashed six homers, five doubles, two triples and swiped seven bases against Atlanta. In 13 games, his slash line of .475/.492/.932 is softballesque. He will miss the ballpark named after him.