- The Washington Times - Friday, June 3, 2016

Trea Turner was recalled on Friday. He probably won’t be staying for long.

The Washington Nationals recalled Turner from Triple-A Syracuse after placing first baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the paternity list. Turner started at second base and hit second on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. Daniel Murphy shifted from second to first.

Turner leads the International League with 38 runs and 17 stolen bases. He also ranks second with 61 hits and fifth with a .310 batting average.

There has been wonder about when Turner would be summoned from Syracuse. Most of that curiosity has been prompted by the batting average of starting shortstop Danny Espinosa. Entering Friday, Espinosa was hitting just .200, though he is one of the league’s better defensive shortstops.

Asked recently about what he was hearing about Turner, Nationals manager Dusty Baker said the reports were good. Baker then went on to explain how, despite calls otherwise, not rushing a prospect is important.

Murphy has played 190 career games at first base. The only place he has played more often is second. Moving him to first boosts him to a league average defender. He is below average at second base.

Turner has worked at shortstop and second base since joining the Nationals last summer. Turner has just a .963 fielding percentage this season with Syracuse, which would be one of several issues when pairing him with Murphy in the middle of the infield, should the Nationals decide to remove Espinosa as the starter and replace him with Turner, the No. 2 prospect in the organization, according to Baseball America.

Zimmerman’s second child was born on Thursday. He can remain on the paternity list for up to three days.


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