Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right wrist in a game against the Cubs on Thursday, when he was hit by a pitch from Pedro Strop in the seventh inning. There is no clear timetable for the shortstop's return, however, he referenced the Braves' Freddie Freeman when discussing the injury. Freeman is scheduled to start a Minor League rehabilitation assignment this weekend, six weeks after his injury.
When Turner was hit, the seriousness wasn't grasped by even the pitcher who threw the ball.
"I feel so bad. I don't know how to describe how bad I felt when I found out it was a broken wrist," Strop said on Friday. "The kid is such a hustling player, and I was just trying to go sinker in, and he was trying to swing and I thought it got a little bit of the bat, so that's why I didn't think it was that bad."
Turner's 35 stolen bases leads the Majors, and he is fourth among NL shortstops in average (.279) and slugging percentage (.422).
The leadoff role will be filled by a mix of Brian Goodwin and Michael Taylor, the other two Nationals not on the DL who have hit leadoff this year, with Goodwin taking a stab at it Friday night. A similar approach will be taken at shortstop with Stephen Drew, who got the first start in St. Louis, and Wilmer Difo.
"I'm not really sure. I've got to talk to Drew and Difo, because you don't want to wear Drew out, either. He's not used to playing every day. It might be a couple days on, then a day off, a couple days on. It just sort of depends," manager Dusty Baker said. "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."
Difo has a .250 OBP in 46 games and Drew has a .361 OBP in 29 games.
Filling Turner's roster spot is Sanchez, who is making his first appearance in the Major Leagues after 10 years in the Nationals organization. He has played a majority of his Minor League games at second base but has spent significant time at third and shortstop. He found out about the injury after he had been pulled in the third inning of Thursday night's game in Syracuse.
"I hope [Turner] recovers soon and I hope to help the team win while I'm here," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "The strength, the discipline, my family, the power of my family, is what has brought me to this point. And I'm very grateful to the team. I've been working hard. That's the key."
Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis and covered the Nationals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.