The Nationals received bad news on shortstop Trea Turner tonight, as X-rays revealed that he sustained a fractured right index finger on a bunt attempt, manager Dave Martinez revealed following tonight’s loss (Twitter link via ESPN’s Buster Olney). He’ll be out for a yet-to-be-determined period of time.
Turner, looking to bunt his way aboard in the first inning of tonight’s game, left too much of his hand exposed and caught the brunt of a 92 mph Zach Eflin fastball on his right index finger. He was replaced by Wilmer Difo without finishing the at-bat and could very well be replaced by Difo for the foreseeable future with a trip to the injured list surely around the corner. Alternatively, the Nats have one of the game’s best infield prospects in Carter Kieboom, though the 21-year-old is not yet on the 40-man roster and has only played in 62 games above A-ball.
The loss of Turner comes at time when the Nats have opened the season 1-3 and been outscored by opponents at a 26-16 clip. Swapping out Turner, one of the team’s best offensive players, for the light-hitting Difo won’t do the lineup any favors. There’s little available on the open market at present, though the A’s did just cut veteran middle infielder Cliff Pennington loose if Washington is eyeing some veteran minor league depth from outside the organization.