- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2017

At the bottom of individual hitting statistics this season for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs is a player that opened the year as a possible MVP candidate. Trea Turner has .000 in the far right column, matching Mario Lisson — who is 0-for-1 — as a hitless member of the Chiefs this season.

Key for Turner are the nine rust-shaking at-bats he has had so far. Turner had not played since a wrist fracture June 30. He went through a boring process of running, swinging with his one healthy arm, running some more and waiting for the wrist to heal. He’s finally back on the field and three games into what should be roughly a two-week stint in the minor leagues before he is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list. Turner could have a full month to work things out in the major leagues before the playoffs start.

“I want to play 30 games, 40 games, whatever that is, just to get my timing back,” Turner said two weeks ago. “I have no say in that. It’s just when my body lets me. If it’s less, I got to get ready faster. Just to be back in enough time for the games that matter would be huge. You don’t want to get thrown in there like [Chicago’s Kyle] Schwarber did.”

A bit higher on the same list, Jayson Werth stands with a .286 average through his three games in Syracuse. The doldrums of being on the disabled list have surrounded Werth the same way they did Turner. Werth’s foot contusion had kept him off the field since June 4. To stay in shape, he was often swimming and running on the AlterG treadmill, which reduces the amount of weight placed on the lower body when running. Werth is 2-for-7 with Syracuse.

Turner and Werth had Thursday night off. They will play for Single-A Potomac on Friday night.

In addition to Turner and Werth, the Nationals are trying to figure out the injuries to three other key components: Max Scherzer, Ryan Madson and Stephen Drew.

Scherzer expected to start Friday in the series opener against the New York Mets, but his stiff neck will again prevent him from taking the mound. A.J. Cole will take his place.

Madson has a sprained finger in his pitching hand. He has been dominant since joining the team as part of a July 16 trade. Madson had not allowed a run in nine innings with Washington. His absence is notable for a bullpen that righted itself after the trade.

Drew has been on the disabled list since July 29, retroactive to July 26, because of a left abdominal strain. His versatility and bat would be a key element in the postseason.

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