Baker to Turner: "The world's going to be yours at some point"

CHICAGO - Dusty Baker had a simple, but important, message for Trea Turner upon sending the young infielder back to Triple-A Syracuse following his weekend stint in the big leagues.

"The world is yours," Baker said he told Turner. "All you've got to do is live and breathe and stay healthy, and the world's going to be yours at some point in time."

Promoted from Syracuse to take Ryan Zimmerman's roster spot while the veteran first baseman was away on paternity leave, Turner started only one of the Nationals' three games last weekend in Cincinnati (going 3-for-3 with a walk) and made a brief pinch-running appearance the following day.

Trea Turner smile blue.pngBaker said that was the Nationals' plan all along, though, and Turner understood that when he arrived on Friday. The 22-year-old will return to Syracuse, where he was hitting .315 with 17 stolen bases in 50 games, and continue to bide his time until the organization believes he should return to play in the majors on an everyday basis.

"I asked him if he's ever led the league anywhere," Baker said. "And he told me he hadn't been around long enough to lead the league. So I said, 'Well, you might as well start now.' I wasn't blowing smoke. I was telling him how I really felt. The world is his, and it's going to be his some day."

"You don't have to rush him," Baker added. "I've seen kids get rushed and get ruined. Everybody wants to rush these guys. Just go play. That's the main thing. Go play and stay healthy. Let's not rush things. It'll take care of itself."

Zimmerman, whose wife Heather gave birth to the couple's second child Thursday, flew to Chicago on Monday and is back in the lineup tonight against the White Sox. Baker did decide to drop the first baseman to the sixth spot in his lineup, with Wilson Ramos staying in the 5-hole after a strong weekend hitting behind Daniel Murphy.

"It's a long time (without playing)," Baker said. "That's why I dropped him down in the order, 'cause I don't know how sharp he's going to be. You can hit on the side in the batting cage like he said he was going to do, but Ramos has been here and has been doing it. So until I see how it's going to look today and maybe tomorrow, I'll bat Ramos in the spot behind Murph."

Note: The White Sox have scratched Carlos Rodon from Thursday's scheduled start after the left-hander came down with neck stiffness that extended down to his shoulder. Former Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will now start the series finale against Gio Gonzalez.

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