The Nationals optioned top prospect Trea Turner back to Triple-A Syracuse on Monday as the team activated Ryan Zimmerman from the paternity list, as MLB.com’s Jamal Collier writes. Manager Dusty Baker contends that “right now there’s no room” for Turner on the big league roster when everyone is healthy, though the struggles of Danny Espinosa certainly seem to create such a spot. Collier writes that the Nats value Espinosa’s glove over a potential offensive upgrade from Turner, though I personally can’t help but wonder how much longer the team will stick with Espinosa, who is hitting just .196/.291/.346 even after homering five times in his past 10 games. While the power surge is nice, Espinosa is hitting just .182 with a .250 OBP in that 10-game stretch, so his overall offensive contributions aren’t as impressive as the power would otherwise indicate. Nats shortstops, as a collective unit, are hitting a dismal .195/.261/.337 on the season. Turner, meanwhile, is batting .312/.365/.452 at Triple-A and went 3-for-3 with a walk and a double in his brief call-up this weekend. Espinosa’s glove is solid, to be sure, but he isn’t Andrelton Simmons on defense, and the Nats rank ninth in NL in runs scored.
More from the NL East…
- The Phillies hosted a workout for potential No. 1 overall pick Kyle Lewis today, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Lewis, a slugging outfielder out of Mercer University, is batting .395/.535/.731 with 20 homers, 11 doubles, two triples and more walks (66) than strikeouts (48) on the season. The 6’4″, 210-pound NCAA superstar spoke with MLBTR’s Chuck Wasserstrom back in late April as part of MLBTR’s Draft Prospect Q&A series. The Phillies have been linked to a number of names atop the draft, with Florida lefty A.J. Puk also being connected to them prominently in recent weeks.
- Though the Mets currently have David Wright, Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud on the disabled list, the team isn’t keen on parting with prospects or significantly adding to its $135MM payroll to bring in a bat from outside the organization via trade, reports Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Ackert spoke to two sources within the organization who “absolutely” expect Wright to return this season, and both said they don’t believe that Wright’s neck problem was caused by or even exacerbated by his spinal stenosis. The Mets will receive a 75 percent refund on Wright’s salary for each day he is on the disabled list beyond 60 days.
- Mets second baseman Neil Walker spoke with Newsday’s Marc Carig about the trade that sent him from his hometown Pirates to New York. A native of Pittsburgh, Walker admitted that while he didn’t feel angry toward the Bucs, he did feel slighted: “I thought, ’Wow, they don’t want me around here anymore.’ … But when that got through, I was like this is an unbelievable opportunity. I just want to make sure I’m prepared to come here and help this team win.” Walker, as Carig writes, was underwhelmed by the Pirates’ attempts at signing him to a long-term deal. “It’s hard to say I feel like I deserve the Andrew McCutchen treatment because Andrew is a better player than I am, you know what I mean?” he said. Walker added that he didn’t feel disrespected but rather that the two sides simply could have had “a little bit more legitimate conversation” about the matter when it was time to talk. Of course, his new environs are treating him just fine; the free-agent-to-be is hitting an outstanding .279/.348/.505 with 13 homers thus far and is well-positioned to land a significant multiyear pact on the open market this winter.