Atlanta Braves rival loses star player to IL, could miss six weeks

Trea Turner left Friday night's game with an injury and it could spell trouble for the Philadelphia Phillies

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies are off to a fantastic start to the 2024 season, staying neck and neck with their NL East rival, the Atlanta Braves. On Friday night, they defeated the San Francisco Giants to take over first place and the deciding run might have been thanks to Trea Turner, who scored from second base on a passed ball.

Unfortunately, because of that play, the Phillies star SS, who they signed to a 11-year, $300 million last year, will now miss at least the next six weeks with a strained hamstring.

What Trea Turner's injury could mean to the Phillies

Unlike last season, where Trea Turner struggled out of the gate, the SS has been fantastic so far in the 2024 season.

In 33 games, the 30-year-old has slashed .343/.392/.460, good for a 146 wRC+. His 1.5 fWAR is the second-highest on the Phillies, behind Alec Bohm, and 18th best in all of Major League Baseball.

Without Turner anchoring short, the Phillies will likely turn to Edmundo Sosa for the bulk of the SS playing time, although the team could also shift Bryson Stott over to SS from 2B and play Whit Merrifield.

Sosa only had 23 PAs going into Saturday's game, but he had a 137 wRC+ in limited action. Last season, in 300 PAs, Sosa had a 92 wRC+ and accumulated 1.0 fWAR.

Sosa might actually be a better defensive option at SS over Turner, who has been worth -5 OAA since joining the Phillies, but the Phils should expect to see a significant step down with the bat. The 28-year-old Sosa's career wRC+ is 95.

Of course, with Sosa sliding into the starting lineup, the Phillies bench will get significantly worse. The club called up Kody Clemens from AAA to replace Turner. Clemens had a 0.0 fWAR and a 73 wRC+ with Philadelphia last season in148 PAs.

What Trea Turner's injury could mean to the Braves

While the Phillies have stayed red hot, the Braves have scuffled over the past week, especially offensively. Philadelphia's persistent dominance has given them possession of first place for the first time all season.

Turner's injury obviously won't cure the team's offensive woes, but it could handicap the Phillies over the next month and a half to allow the Braves to retake control of the NL East and create some distance.

While we'd certainly prefer to beat a healthy Phillies club, the team needs to cease the opportunity while one of their star players is on the shelf.

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