NEW YORK - Trea Turner is in the Nationals dugout tonight, available to come off the bench if needed. But he’s not in the starting lineup just yet, with manager Dusty Baker wanting to give the just-activated shortstop a chance to rest his legs a bit after playing rehab games at extended spring training the last two days.
“The thinking was: Today was supposed to be his day off from the rehab assignment,” Baker said. “And we thought, ‘OK, who would you rather have available on the bench? Would you rather have him or another extra guy?’ So that was the thinking, kind of let him get his feet wet a little bit. He’ll be in there tomorrow.”
Turner was activated off the 10-day disabled list this afternoon, his strained right hamstring healed. Fellow infielder Grant Green was designated for assignment to make room for him on the 25-man roster.
Turner is one of several key Nats who aren’t in the lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Mets, with Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters joining him on the bench. (Daniel Murphy, however, is back starting after sitting out last night’s game in Atlanta with leg tightness.)
Werth continues to deal with a minor groin injury, one that is getting better, according to Baker. The plan, for now, is for Werth to sit out Saturday afternoon’s game as well, but then return for Sunday night’s series finale.
Zimmerman and Wieters are healthy; they’re simply being given the night off. That wasn’t the original plan for Zimmerman. But the combination of the Mets starting Matt Harvey instead of Jacob deGrom (scratched with neck stiffness) and a 3 a.m. arrival in New York following last night’s game in Atlanta prompted Baker to swap out his first basemen. It’ll be Adam Lind starting tonight, with Zimmerman returning Saturday (he’s 3-for-8 with a home run in his career against deGrom).
Wieters is sitting for only the second time in 16 games this season, getting the night off while Jose Lobaton gets a rare start.
Meanwhile, Stephen Drew remains with the club but remains in a rehab program for his strained hamstring. Drew is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday, but his timetable for a return is slower than the one for Turner, who suffered his injury only three days before Drew got hurt.
“No, I don’t think he’s ready for the next step,” Baker said of Drew. “He’s here, getting treatment early. We’re just trying to get him ready.”