Following a long, overnight drive from Syracuse, NY to the nation's capital, after he got the call, 22-year-old Nationals' prospect Trea Turner arrived in Washington, D.C. early Friday morning ready to make his MLB debut a little over a year after he was drafted by the San Diego Padres 13th overall out of North Carolina State University.
Acquired this past winter as the Player to be Named Later in the three-team deal that sent Steven Souza and minor league left-hander Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays and brought Turner and 22-year-old right-hander Joe Ross back to the Nats, Turner played just ten games at Double-A in the Nationals' organization, once he was included in the deal in June, before he was promoted to Triple-A.
He hit seven doubles, three triples and three home runs in 48 games and 205 plate appearances, putting up a .314/.353/.431 line before he got called up.
So that deal has worked out pretty well, right? Turner's up now. Ross has been a part of the major league rotation for months.
"The deal made sense for both clubs, for all three clubs," Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo said this afternoon.
"That's the reason we made the deal. We gave up a good player to get good players, and that's the type of trade I like to have. Win/win on both sides.
"We're proud of both Joe and Trea and we like the fact that they're young, athletic and controllable and guys that we can build with throughout not only '15 and beyond."
When he met with reporters at Nats Park, Turner was asked if this was how he imagined things turning out for him this season?
"You can think whatever, but a lot of it is out of your control," Turner explained.
"And I've always wanted it to happen, obviously, it's what everyone plays for, but I couldn't tell you what the possibilities were.
"I'm just excited that they've given me an opportunity and I'm ready to kind of approach it the best I can and take it head-on."
"Trea gives us a lot of options," Nats' skipper Matt Williams said before the series opener with Milwaukee.
"Middle infield guy. He's got speed. He's had a great year, puts the bat on the baseball, so there's lot of opportunity for him, it will depend on how that particular game pans out."
"We felt Trea was going to be a September call-up anyways," Rizzo said, when asked why Turner was called up now.
"We felt that maybe this is a time to inject a little more speed, youth and athleticism into the ballclub and we felt it was an opportune time to take advantage of some of his skills."
"He's gone through a lot of trials and tribulations this year," Rizzo continued. "With that said, he takes a while to warm up to each level that he's played at, so we're not expecting him to be the savior of the offense or savior of the ballclub, we just want him to do what he does best, add his skillset to Matt Williams' arsenal of tools to win baseball games.
"Right now that's what we're about. We're not trying to develop at the big league level, we're just trying to win games and we're injecting players that we think have skill sets that will help us win."
Turner said he wasn't given any details about what role he will play, at least at the time he first spoke to reporters.
"So far, not too much," he said.
"They just told me to get ready and kind of approach every game like I would anywhere else.
"I'm just trying to do whatever I can, whatever they need me to. If it's pinch running, defense, doesn't matter to me. If I get a start here or there, it's alright, just whatever they need me to and as of right now I don't know too much."
Williams was asked about Turner potentially playing second, after the infielder made his professional debut at second earlier this week at Triple-A.
"He's out working at it early today, so we look at it and say, 'How can he be valuable to us in winning a game?'
"It could be there. It could be off the bench. It could be stealing a base. It could be getting a start. So, nothing in stone, for sure."
"It's different," Turner, who was drafted and developed at short, said of his first exposure at second.
"Everything is kind of opposite, obviously being on the opposite side of the ball, but felt pretty comfortable in the two games I played there. Still need to work on it and get out there. That's probably what I'm about to go do right after this, get out there and get some more reps, but felt pretty comfortable."
"From what I know of Trea," Williams said, "he's got the ability to put the bat on the baseball, he's got speed, he does a lot of things on the baseball field that can help us win.
"Again, we'll see how games play out and where we can use him."
Turner said he was sure he would be comfortable wherever he was asked to play.
"I trust myself to do any of it, outfield, infield, whatever," he said.
His major league debut came at short, however, when Williams made a double switch in the seventh inning of what ended up being a 10-3 loss to the Brewers.
Turner's first at bat, against veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse in the bottom of the seventh, resulted in a groundout to short that he almost beat out.
It was close enough that the Nationals blew their challenge checking to see if Turner did actually beat Brewers' shortstop Jean Segura's throw to first.
About Turner's speed?
Per @statcast, Trea Turner reached 22.188 mph on that near-hit. Billy Hamilton has topped that only 3 times this year going home to 1st.— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) August 22, 2015
A grounder to second by Danny Espinosa started the first double play Turner took part in and he got his second at bat in the bottom of the ninth, grounding out to end the Nationals' 61st loss in 121 games.
"Good speed," Williams said when asked to assess Turner's first major league outing.
"It's not the ideal situation we wanted to get him in there in that type of situation. He had good work today early and got a chance to take a look at him, so there will be more opportunity."
"Every debut is good, I would like to say," Turner told reporters, including MASN's Byron Kerr.
"Can't necessarily have a bad debut, no matter how you play, results whatever. It was just fun to be out there. I'm excited to go back out there tomorrow and then hopefully get a chance to play and keep doing it."