ST. LOUIS – The Nationals officially placed Trea Turner on the 10-day disabled list with a non-displaced fracture in his right wrist Friday and promoted infielder Adrian Sanchez to take his place. To make room on the 40-man roster, Washington transferred Sammy Solis to the 60-day disabled list.
Washington has not determined a timetable for Turner yet, but the shortstop, who celebrated his 24th birthday Thursday, is expected to undergo more X-rays in two weeks.
“Trea was our igniter,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “As he went, our offense usually followed closely behind him.”
Sanchez, 26, was batting .259 with a .694 OPS in 67 games for Class AAA Syracuse. He was removed from the club’s game Thursday in the third inning and assumed he was taken out because he had been hit in the head by a ball earlier. But then he received the news that he was getting called up to the bigs for the first time after a decade in the minors.
“The strength, the discipline, my family, the power of my family, is what has brought me to this point,” Sanchez said. “And I’m very grateful to the team. I’ve been working hard. That’s the key.”
Sanchez signed with the Nationals as a teenager in 2007 out of Venezuela, but has Colombian roots: His father is from there, he played on the country’s WBC team, and he has lived there the past four years. A steady defender with great hands, Sanchez has extensive experience at second base, third base and shortstop in his 11-year professional career. He started 46 games at shortstop, 11 at second base and 10 at third base for Syracuse this season and has also played eight career games in left field.
He figures to assume a backup role and sit behind Stephen Drew and Wilmer Difo on the middle infield depth chart in Turner’s absence. Drew will start at shortstop in Friday’s series opener against the Cardinals, and will get likely get the bulk of the playing time there. The Nationals, however, are wary of taxing the 34-year-old Drew and will mix the switch-hitting Difo in, especially against left-handed pitching. But they don’t plan on trading for a shortstop and are set on using their in-house options.
“It might be a couple days on, then a day off, a couple days on,” Baker said. “It just sort of depends. Drew does bring a lot of experience and an outstanding bat. Difo probably has a little more range but not the experience of playing shortstop, and younger legs. What it does do, it sort of weakens my bench. Because I had another potent bat on my bench, and then Drew is also capable of going in and playing third, short and second and giving guys a day off.”
As for the other void Turner’s absence will create, Brian Goodwin will take his spot atop the batting order, but that also isn’t a static situation. Michael A. Taylor and Difo are other potential choices.
“I’ll probably mix-and-match,” Baker said. “It depends on who’s on the mound, and if a guy’s better right or left, and what their bullpen consists of. Cause at the top of the order, you’re going to get four or five at-bats. We need those guys to get on so the middle of our lineup can continue to thrive.”
Moving Solis to the 60-day disabled list is a mere formality. The left-hander has already missed 64 games, meaning he can come off the disabled list at any point. He is on a rehab assignment with Syracuse and has logged 6 2/3 innings across seven games. Pitchers can be on rehab assignments for a maximum of 30 days. Solis began the rehab assignment on June 15.
Brian Goodwin LF
Michael A. Taylor CF
Bryce Harper RF
Ryan Zimmerman 1B
Daniel Murphy 2B
Anthony Rendon 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Jose Lobaton C
Tanner Roark RHP
Matt Carpenter 1B
Tommy Pham CF
Stephen Piscotty RF
Jedd Gyorko 3B
Yadier Molina C
Randal Grichuk LF
Paul DeJong SS
Greg Garcia 2B
Mike Leake RHP