Yet another high-profile star went down in the series between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs when Nationals shortstop Trea Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture in his right wrist in Thursday’s 5-4 loss for the Nationals. Turner was hit by a 96-mile per hour fastball from Cubs reliever Pedro Strop in the seventh inning and was taken back to the dugout for X-rays soon after. The Nationals’ leadoff hitter had registered a hit and a walk in three plate appearances before exiting, following Kris Bryant’s departure the previous night.
“Depending on the bone he broke, Turner can be expected to be out from six to ten weeks,” The Fantasy Doctors’ Dr. Jesse Morse said. “He may need a CAT scan or MRI if his doctors suspect any chance of a more severe injury, which as of now, sounds like Freddie Freeman’s injury more than five weeks ago.
Turner had been in the midst of a breakout season, slashing .279 with seven home runs, 32 runs batted in and a MLB-leading 35 stolen bases. Once viewed as a top prospect, Turner has shown why Nationals’ fans were that excited to see him, as he has taken the MLB by storm in 2017.
Turner’s injury should have more of an impact in the fantasy world than the professional one, mostly due to Washington’s huge lead in the NL East division with a 47-32 record. The Nationals have a nine game lead over the second-place Atlanta Braves, who should not pose much of a threat. Turner should also be back well in time for the September playoffs—barring no further ailment or setback—allowing him plenty of time to reacclimate as Washington searches for playoff success that has been so elusive in recent years.
But fantasy-wise, Turner’s injury will cause waves among most leagues. The star shortstop is owned in more than 99 percent of all ESPN fantasy leagues and ranks sixth by ESPN’s scoring metrics this season. With there being a chance Turner may miss the start of the fantasy playoffs—10 weeks puts him in early September—there is certainly a risk to using a valuable bench spot for the 23-year old.
But the risk far outweighs the reward in this case. Turner has proven to be a premiere talent, and with little depth at shortstop, his potential fantasy playoff presence could be the difference between an early round exit and a championship team.