WASHINGTON — One youngster’s missed opportunity opens the door for another, as Lucas Giolito will return to the minor leagues, giving Trea Turner his second shot with the Washington Nationals this season.
Turner was on the team for two games in Cincinnati earlier this season, going three-for-three at the plate and pushing Daniel Murphy to first base. As the team will be without Ryan Zimmerman until after the All-Star break, Turner has an opportunity for extended action on the Major League level.
How long can he stick around? According to manager Dusty Baker, that part is up to him.
“Right now, Trea has to fit in where he get in,” Baker told the media before the game. “Right now, there’s no real place for Trea to take. This isn’t a tryout camp. This is try to play the best team overall to win the game and win the pennant.
“Hopefully Trea will be a part of that while he’s here.”
Baker is inclined to keep Murphy at second base, playing Clint Robinson against right-handed pitching. For his career, Robinson hits righties to the tune of .245/.327/.413, which is actually significantly lower than his left-handed splits: .370/.434/.413.
“Against right-handers, Robinson, I mean he filled in last year and he’s done a great job this year,” Baker said. “Robinson’s getting the nod tonight. We might to something different against left-handed pitching.”
In an attempt to increase his versatility, Turner spent some time in the outfield in the minors. But that trend will not continue at the Major League level, especially as Michael A. Taylor has rejoined the club.
“I haven’t seen Trea play center field. He hasn’t played but what, a handful of games out there?”Baker told the media. “This is too big a series to try to see and experiment. It wouldn’t be fair to him and us. Just because you have the speed doesn’t mean you know the routes.
“I’m sure in time, he’ll show us all, but right now, he’ll probably remain in the infield unless I have to make a move out there in the outfield.”
Turner sat in favor of Robinson and Murphy tonight. Robinson put the Nationals on the board with a two-run homerun against Noah Syndergaard in the top of the second inning.