Trea Turner missed ten games in April with a hamstring injury, and he drew just three walks in 66 plate appearances in the first month of the season, while striking out 15 times in 15 games.
Turner did end up going 20 for 63 (.317/.348/.556) over that stretch, finishing the first month of the season with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs, and four walks, but the Nationals’ shortstop struggled in May, going 27 for 117 (.231/.254/.350) with three doubles, a triple, three home runs, three walks, 23 Ks and nine stolen bases in 122 PAs.
He’s now drawn three walks in the first seven games in June, however, with hits in 10 of 31 at bats (.323/.382/.452), two triples, seven Ks and eight stolen bases. He has hits in five straight games now too, and appears to be getting back to being the hitter he was in his first full season in the majors last year.
Turner went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and three stolen bases last night against the Baltimore Orioles, matching a Nationals’ single-game record for steals, (joining a list that includes Nyjer Morgan, Ben Revere, Denard Span).
Dusty Baker talked late last month about the league adjusting to Turner and the 23-year-old infielder adjusting back, telling reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr, that, “... 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.”
After the Nationals win last night, which saw Turner walk, steal two bases, and score in his first at bat, then single in three of the next four, all of them ground ball hits.
“That’s his game,” Baker told reporters after the 6-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
“His game is a leadoff man to get on base, and when he gets on base via walk — which he hasn’t had many — he starts the game off with a walk, steals second and third, and usually just a fly ball meant something, and the guys batting behind him, those are non-at bats and RBIs when that happens and then that makes them more confident and so as your leadoff man goes usually your offense goes.”
Baker and the Nationals stuck with Turner when he struggled, and he told MASN’s Dan Kolko last night that he’s fought to get where he is right now.
“Just trying to battle, grind it out, you know, it’s been a long year for me, I feel like a lot of ups and downs, and I’m just trying to have good at bats for me team, get on base and score some runs.”
Ten of his 21 steals on the season have come in the last nine games. It seems like he’s starting to make the necessary adjustments.
Turner is back on top tonight for the first of three with the Texas Rangers.