Nationals manager Dave Martinez acknowledged Sunday that he's considering moving Turner from the leadoff spot into the No. 2 or 3 spot in the order in 2021, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports. "Possibly," Martinez said, regarding the possibility of shifting Turner down a spot or two in the lineup. "Like I said, we're running a lot of different lineups, different numbers, talking to a bunch of our analytical people."
Coming off an abbreviated 2020 campaign in which Turner slashed an impressive .335/.394/.588, the Nationals are looking for ways to maximize his production at the plate. While slotting one spot lower in the lineup would likely result in a hit to Turner's stolen-base opportunities, he would benefit from an increase in chances to drive in runs. Only 58 of Turner's 259 plate appearances last season came with a runner in scoring position, resulting in the 27-year-old netting only 41 RBI in 59 games despite a monstrous .982 OPS. The Nationals don't have an ideal option on the roster who can come close to providing Turner's speed and on-base skills versus right-handed pitching, but Martinez floated the possibility of Victor Robles replacing Turner as the leadoff man versus lefties. Expect Martinez to experiment with his lineups throughout Grapefruit League play before determining whether Turner will slot in the order once Opening Day arrives.