VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he is impressed with Trea Turner's speed. In the first inning of Washington's 5-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday, Turner led off and hit a routine grounder to second baseman Kolten Wong, who bobbled the ball, allowing Turner to reach first base.
An inning later with the bases loaded, Turner's speed prevented him from hitting into a double play, and that allowed Matt Skole to score the second run of the game. No wonder he earned the nickname, "Trea Burner."
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"The No. 1 thing is his speed, and speed kills. That's something the game doesn't have much of," Baker said. "When you have speed, it makes [the opponent] make mistakes he wouldn't normally make."
While Turner has gotten off to a slow start this spring, that's nothing new for the 22-year-old, and he knows how to get out of it. Turner feels he needs to make a small mechanical fix in his swing.
"I'm someone who has always adjusted," Turner said. "Every level last year, I struggled right away. I figured it out. I looked in the video room [recently], there are some things I have a solution to. I know I have a good swing. It's a matter of repeating it. Right now, I'm not repeating it. It's a matter of getting comfortable and trying to have better at-bats."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be
found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.