Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon was scheduled to play his third rehab game tonight for the Nats double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, as they are going up against the New Britain Rock Cats (Colorado Rockies). However, Washington has decided that his rehab is going to be put on hold, at least, for tonight. Here is what Washington announced about Rendon, who was scheduled to start at second base tonight:
Tony Renda will be getting the start at second base while Matt Skole will be manning the hot corner for the Senators. Rendon was scheduled to play at least seven innings tonight and then play a full nine inning game within the next couple of days. However, this has to be a concern when Rendon is saying he’s fatigued after he had the day off yesterday. He is rehabbing from a MCL injury he suffered fielding a groundball against the Braves back on March 9.
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So far, Rendon has looked good in his two rehab games. He went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored. Plus, he has done a good job at fielding his position at third base. He was scheduled to play second base for Harrisburg tonight, a position he could play when he comes up due to the success Yunel Escobar has had at third base.
For the Nationals, they need Rendon back in that lineup with the way their offense has struggled thru the first 19 games of the season. They are hitting .218 as a team, which is the second worst batting average in the National League (Phillies are the worst at .214). They have scored 65 runs, which is the fourth lowest in the NL.
Rendon, who hit .287 last season, with 21 home runs and 83 RBI’s, is a player who can instantly spark this offense as he would normally hit behind Denard Span. Tonight, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman will hit second against the Braves as he tries to raise his batting average, which is at .205 for the season.
This is definitely a cause for concern for Nationals fans because you got the sense that once Rendon came back, the offense would go right back to being the team that scored the third most runs in the NL last season. Plus, he has yet to play nine innings in a game yet, which you know Washington wants to see him do before he goes to the big leagues.
Even though Rendon is out tonight, that doesn’t means fans shouldn’t watch the game on MILB.TV at 6:35 PM ET. Brian Rauh, who is tonight’s starter, makes his double-A debut after going 2-0 with a 0.51 ERA in three starts at high-A Potomac. He was named Carolina League Pitcher Of The Week earlier today.