Turner hasn’t played for the Nationals since a fastball thrown by Cubs right-hander Pedro Strop fractured his right wrist June 29. He began a rehab assignment Aug. 21 and appeared in seven games between Class AAA Syracuse and Class A Potomac. He went 2 for 21 with seven strikeouts and a walk, playing shortstop in every game but one. Turner batted .279 with a .746 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and 35 steals in 68 games as Washington’s leadoff hitter before his injury this season.
Without Turner and Stephen Drew, who was placed on the disabled list July 29, the Nationals turned to Wilmer Difo as their everyday shortstop, and he delivered. The 26-year-old Dominican is batting .335 with an .833 OPS and seven steals in seven attempts across 45 games, adding solid defense at shortstop to solidify his place at the major league level. Difo will likely return to a utility man role, spelling Daniel Murphy at second base and Anthony Rendon at third base in addition to Turner at shortstop over the final month of the season.
“We know how good we can be when we’re at full strength,” Scherzer said. “The thing is, Difo has been so good at short in his absence. Difo’s done so much for this ballclub all across the diamond. . . . So as good as it is to get Trea back, we also got to give credit to Difo for the way he’s played over the past couple months. So Trea will be welcomed. We know what he can bring to the table and how he benefits our ballclub.”