Nationals' Trea Turner Removed from Game vs. Phillies After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 28, 2021

Washington Nationals' Trea Turner rounds first on his way to a double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner was removed from Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies after testing positive for COVID-19, the team announced.

Maria Torres @maria_torres3

Nationals announce Trea Turner tested positive for COVID-19.

Turner's name has come up frequently in trade talks this week as MLB's Friday deadline looms. It's unclear how much time he may miss. 

Per MLB's guidelines:

"Individuals who test positive will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days, receive appropriate care and monitoring from the Club medical staff, and be cleared by the Joint Committee and the individual’s team physician, following a mandatory cardiac evaluation and a determination that the individual no longer presents a risk of infection to others."

The Nationals have a roster that's very top-heavy, so losing any of their top players for a period of time is going to put a lot of pressure on the rest of the team. Turner is crucial to their success because of his consistency with the bat and speed to disrupt opposing pitchers on the bases. 

Turner was excellent last season, finishing with a .335/.394/.588 slash line and 12 homers in 59 games. He's been equally great so far in 2021 with an .887 OPS and 18 stolen bases in 95 appearances. 

Injuries have often been a problem for the North Carolina State alum throughout his career. He has missed at least 40 games in three of the past four seasons before 2020. 

Washington's lineup isn't deep in star power, but they have several players capable of putting up big power numbers. Juan Soto is arguably the best hitter in Major League Baseball. Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber were key offseason additions expected to provide some pop, but the Nationals have struggled to a 45-54 record to this point. 

Until Turner is able to return, Gerardo Parra and Andrew Stevenson will likely see more playing time in the outfield for manager Davey Martinez, with Alcides Escobar getting more reps at short.