Dusty Baker talked often over the last few weeks about needing to get Trea Turner going, with the 23-year-old shortstop struggling at the plate through the first two months of the season.
In his opinion, Baker said, it was a matter of making adjustments after the rest of the league adjusted to Turner, who put up a .342/.370/.567 line, 14 doubles, eight triples, 13 home runs and 33 stolen bases in 73 games and 324 plate appearances as a rookie last season, finishing the year at 3.3 fWAR and coming in second in the NL Rookie of the Year race after less than a half of a season’s worth of action in the majors.
“What I’ve seen is the league has adjusted to him,” Baker told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr last week.
“Now it’s up to him to adjust back. This is the big leagues, man, with the video and the advanced charts. They’re not going to let you keep killing them in this league. Everybody has to make that adjustment from time to time. He’s a smart kid. He’ll make them. We’re helping him to make them.”
Turner entered play on Friday 16 for 89 in May (.180/.213/.292 line) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, three walks and 20 Ks in 21 games, with a .237/.269/.401 line on the season. He was, of course, facing the team that drafted him in the first round back in 2014 and traded him to Washington.
Turner started the night 2 for 2 with a home run and a double after he led off the bottom of the first with a solo shot to center (his 5th), and hustled around to second for a one-out double in his second trip to the plate.
Turner sent a grounder by Padres’ third baseman Ryan Schimpf for a two-base hit in the fourth, that was originally ruled a double but changed to an error on Schimpf.
He sent a fly to right in the seventh, and finished the night 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Chris Speier, who is managing this weekend with Dusty Baker in California for his son’s high school graduation, said he saw some positive signs from the shortstop.
“Trea is a quiet guy, but he’s got an intensity and he really, really wants to do well,” Speier said.
“I think for a while he might have been putting a little pressure on him once Adam Eaton went down, to get on base and be productive, but we told him, ‘Just be you, you’re going to be fine,’ so like I said, he’s been really good.”