Trea Turner went 2 for 12 in seven minor league games before he was reinstated from the Disabled List. Turner missed 51 games recovering from the non-displaced fracture in his left wrist that landed him on the DL in late June.
Turner went 1 for 7 in the first two games back, but on Thursday night in Milwaukee’s Miller Park, Washington’s 24-year-old shortstop went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, and an RBI, reminding everyone what the Nationals were missing when he was out.
“It’s great having Trea back,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the Nationals’ 6-3 series opening loss to the Brewers.
“He makes things happen. He’s an impact player... we’re slowly but surely getting all our guys back and into shape and we certainly welcome that back.”
Turner grounded out the first time up, hit an RBI double to center in his second at bat, (stole third base, No. 37, and scored on an RBI groundout by Jayson Werth), then bunted for a hit in the fifth inning, before tripling and scoring in his final at bat in the eighth.
“I feel really good running-wise, I think before when you play 50-60 games you feel it a little bit and it was kind of nice to get a chance to take those two months and work on running form and some different things,” Turner said.
In 68 games and 315 plate appearances before the injury, Turner had a .279/.324/.422 line with 13 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, and 35 stolen bases.
He said he took advantage of the time off, when he couldn’t swing with the broken wrist, to work on improving his running game and concentrate on the little things.
“I feel like I probably ran more in those two months than I have in a long time and I try to stay in shape as much as I can, and it shows in games like this where coming back I’m not tired, I’m not sore, and I’m glad I did all the running and lifting I did while I was hurt.”
The rehab work and preparation can only do so much, however, Turner admitted, and he said that it’s all different once you’re back on the field in the majors.
“Yeah, for sure, you know, I think you change in the heat of the moment,” Turner said, “you can practice in the cage all you want with the swing, and then you get out there and your body does things that you don’t do in the cage because of the adrenaline.
“It’s kind of the same with running, you work on the form but when you get in there and you’re trying to beat out a ground ball, you may do something different.
“I think we did a good job, I tried to focus on the little things like that and stay in shape and be ready to play so I can take advantage of bunts, and stolen bases, and scoring on sac flies and I think that’s what I bring to this team.”