Trea Turner accepting Martinez's challenge to attempt 75-80 steals

Josh Luckenbaugh
March 04, 2019 - 8:12 am

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals manager Dave Martinez issued a public challenge to shortstop Trea Turner early in spring training.

"If he attempts 75 to 80 (stolen bases), we’ll be in great shape," Martinez told reporters.

Turner has never attempted to steal more than 54 bases in his career. In fact, only 13 players have attempted 75 steals in a season since 2000. But Turner's up for the challenge. 

"I got to get on first, but for me, if I can get on base and get that many opportunities to steal a base, I think I'm doing something right," Turner told The Sports Junkies Monday. "Helping the team out, probably score a lot of runs that way."

While his manager set the bar for where he wants Turner to get to, the 25-year old says he doesn't set goals for himself before the season. 

"Davey set the number, but I don't really set goals because for me ... if I steal 30 of 30, is that a bad year? Or if I steal 100 bases, that's more than whatever you said."

"I don't set numbers. However many I have an opportunity to steal, I would like to do that, and I think the game dictates what that number is."

And despite the focus on his base-running, Turner wants to improve in every facet of the game. 

"For me, you can pick certain things in the game and try and make them better," Turner told the Junkies. "I can do some things on defense to make myself a better defender. I can do some things on the bases, whether it's just attempting steals."

"And then the same at the plate, I think I can be a little bit more consistent and have good at-bats. Each year, I just try to pick something and work on it a little bit."

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