WASHINGTON -- The Nationals placed Trea Turner on the disabled list Monday, choosing to exercise caution in dealing with his strained right hamstring. Turner injured the hamstring while stealing a base during the first inning of Saturday night's 17-3 loss to the Phillies. He tried to play through it until he could not score from second on a single before he was eventually removed from the game.
"Speed is a major part of his game," manager Dusty Baker said. "If we didn't nip it in the bud now, it might be bothering him all year long. You don't want this thing to re-occur, it's early in the season."
After Saturday's game, the Nationals downplayed their concern over Turner -- the runnerup for last year's National League Rookie of the Year Award -- and his diagnosis has not changed. Instead, the Nationals decided to take advantage of the new 10-day disabled list, which prevents them from playing with a short roster for too long, a change Baker applauded. Michael Taylor was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to take Turner's place.
"I like the change because some guys need more than 15, but most guys need a week to 10 days," Baker said. "Especially with the minor things that hinder you from playing, but not bad enough for you to be out two weeks. So, therefore you end up playing short."
Turner had gotten off to a bit of a slow start during the first week of the season, going 3-for-19 with seven strikeouts, although he also has stolen three bases. Baker said he plans to use both Stephen Drew, who is starting there Monday, and Wilmer Difo in Turner's absence at shortstop.
The Nationals have a pair of off-days during Turner's stint on the DL, which is retroactive to Sunday, so he might miss eight games before he returns to the lineup.
"I think going on the DL might be good," Turner said. "I can't rush back, I can't do anything stupid. I think missing 10 days now is better than missing two months later."
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
An early-round pick in virtually every draft this spring, the high-upside 23-year-old will be missed after providing owners with a .340 average, 13 homers and 33 steals across 316 plate appearances during the second half of 2016. Shallow-league owners will naturally stash the speedster in all formats while looking to waivers for a fill-in such as Manuel Margot, Chris Owings or Rajai Davis. In deeper leagues, owners should seek out Jarrod Dyson, Jose Reyes or Travis Jankowski.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.