When the Philadelphia Phillies signed shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year contract worth $300 million this offseason, the expectations were set high. To this point, Turner has struggled in his first half season in Philadelphia. The Phillies have also been struggling since their series against the San Diego Padres and have lost five of their last six games including a 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.
Turner had a rough night. He made two errors in the field and went 0-3 at the plate with one strikeout. The strikeout would be his final at bat of the evening as the shortstop was ejected from the game shortly thereafter. Turner was called out on strikes on a 1-2 pitch that looked a bit low on the monitor but may have touched part of the zone.
Turner was visibly frustrated with the call and turned around to discuss the pitch with the home plate umpire Will Little. It appears that the Phillies' shortstop was ejected after removing his equipment and tossing it toward the bat boy and the Phillies' dugout.
After the game Turner was asked about the ejection. He had this to say:
"Thought the pitch was down, he told me it was a good pitch, I said it’s not a good pitch, it’s either a ball or a strike. Usually when they say it’s a good pitch, it’s a ball."- via Corey Seidman NBCSports Philly
Turner also added that Little ejected him after throwing his equipment back toward the dugout and to the Phillies' bat boy. The full quote can be heard in this video.
The Phillies shortstop seemed frustrated after the game, and it is not hard to see why. He is a good player who has been struggling for a prolonged period during which there is intense pressure to perform well due to the size and length of his new contract. After Monday night's loss, Turner is hitting just .247 with an OPS of .687. He has also already struck out 106 times in 99 games this season. In 2022, he struck out 131times in 160 games.
Turner is pressing. He is not seeing the ball well right now and has been chasing pitches out of the zone more than usual. He is a good player who will likely turn it around at some point. His career track record is just too good for him to have a permanent decline at just 30 years old. Maybe Turner is in a similar situation to his teammate Nick Castellanos— who struggled in his first year in Philadelphia too— and will return to his normal playing potential sooner rather than later.