Trea Turner has made 148 starts for the Nationals this season. (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Consistency has been hard for the Washington Nationals to find this season, with injuries throughout the spring and summer, a series of August trades that changed the complexion of both the lineup and pitching staff and only bursts of their best baseball that have not come quite often enough.

Through all of that, there has been one near certainty: Trea Turner’s name penciled in a shortstop.

“He’s played a ton,” Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said Thursday on the topic of Turner’s durability.

To be exact, Turner has appeared in every one of the Nationals' 152 games. He has started 148 of those. He leads the National League in plate appearances (691), the majors in at-bats (623), and, less related to all of the playing time he’s logged, stolen bases with an even 40. Turner’s ability to stay on the field is a welcome sign just one year after he missed time with a broken wrist, and the Nationals' lineup is better with his speed and surprising power atop it.

The 25-year-old shortstop was hit in the helmet by a slider in the Nationals' 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. It was an uneasy moment, as it is any time a baseball runs toward a hitter’s head, but Turner dusted himself off, took his base and stole second while Bryce Harper stood at the plate. The sequence was a fitting illustration what Turner has provided for the Nationals throughout the season.

“He’s been unbelievable all year long,” Martinez said Thursday. “I feel bad that he didn’t make the all-star team, I thought he should of, but you know what? I told him, ‘For me there’s always an all-star team at the end of the year. Continue to play hard and try to make that one.' That’s the big for me and he’s . . . the power numbers for him have been a lot better, he’s going to get better, and he wants to get better with his on-base percentage and taking more walks and getting on-base. And he’ll learn that.”

Turner’s batting average has waned a bit this season, sitting at .268 heading into the Nationals’ series opener with the New York Mets on Thursday night. Martinez thinks that Turner could creatively raise his average with a few more bunts — like the bunt single that scored Wilmer Difo in Miami on Tuesday — but quickly added that the Nationals (77-75) would rather Turner sneak up on pitchers with his power.

He carries just 185 pounds on a wiry 6-foot-2 frame, but Turner has reached career highs with 17 home runs and 65 RBI this season. Martinez believes his average will improve if he keeps working on hitting the ball up the middle. Staying healthy, and getting the reps that come along with that, also wouldn’t hurt, and Turner has shown an ability to be in the lineup as much as possible.

“I appreciate the fact that he goes out there and plays every day,” Martinez said. “It’s hard to do these days, and I talk to him and ask if he needs a day off, and he’s good to go. He loves to play.”


METS (70-82)

Amed Rosario SS

Jeff McNeil 2B

Michael Conforto RF

Jay Bruce 1B

Dominic Smith LF

Brandon Nimmo CF

Jose Reyes 3B

Kevin Plawecki C

Jason Vargas P


Victor Robles CF

Trea Turner SS

Bryce Harper RF

Anthony Rendon 3B

Juan Soto LF

Ryan Zimmerman 1B

Matt Wieters C

Adrian Sanchez 2B

Max Scherzer P

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