Nationals' Trea Turner: Could bat out of three hole

Manager Dave Martinez is expected to give Turner a look as the Nationals' No. 3 hitter during Grapefruit League games, Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic reports.

While the Nationals brought in Eric Thames and Starlin Castro this offseason to help offset the departure of Anthony Rendon, neither player profiles as an adequate replacement for the two-time Silver Slugger in the heart of the order. Turner can't match Rendon's power, but his bat-to-ball skills probably make him the best internal candidate to offer protection in front of cleanup hitter Juan Soto. Should Martinez commit to using Turner as his No. 3 hitter, the 26-year-old could lose out on a good amount of running chances, though he would benefit from a major boost in his RBI count. Conversely, Victor Robles would likely assume Turner's old leadoff gig and would presumably see his stolen-base opportunities skyrocket. Per Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports, Turner was taking reps at shortstop Tuesday in the Nats' first infield workout of the spring, which indicates he's made a full recovery from November surgery to repair a fractured index finger.

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