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Rendon returns to field

Jul 19, 2012, 6:51 PM EDT

Top Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon returned to game action today for the first time since breaking his ankle in early April.

Rendon, the sixth overall pick in last summer’s draft, started at third base and led off for the rookie league Gulf Coast Nationals. He went 0-for-2, lining out in the first inning and flying out in the third inning.

This was Rendon’s first game action since April 7, when in only his second game with Class A Potomac he slipped and fell rounding third base, fracturing his left ankle in the process.

The Nationals had hoped all along the 22-year-old would recover in time to play before season’s end. He’s technically still on the disabled list and is appearing on a rehab assignment in the GCL, but there’s a reasonable chance he could come off the DL and return to play at Potomac before the minor-league regular season ends Sept. 3.

  1. Tcostant - Jul 19, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Get the bubble wrap out.

  2. peric - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    I'm glad they convinced him to work hard to get back sooner … perhaps the sudden rise to the top of the NL convinced him to get back … and then there's Ryan Zimmerman's eventual move from third base to first base.Because a Houston interview had him saying was going to sit out this year and tee it up in the spring of 2013.

  3. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    That Houston interview was very disappointing. I'm imagining someone in the organization sent him a pdf of the deposit ticket for his bonus to remind him he now is 'sposed to be playing for his keep.

  4. alexva - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    More good news on the injury recovery front, have to guess he's 100% healed or he wouldn't be on the field in live game action. Unless he re-injures himself there's still time for 30 days of action with the P-Nats. And since he's also on the 40 man roster no reason that a Sept call up is out of the question if all goes well.

  5. peric - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    And since he's also on the 40 man roster no reason that a Sept call up is out of the question if all goes well.Let's hope Zim stays healthy because with Espinosa needed to spare Desmond's lat and with little experience at third (albeit I'm sure he can do it) Rendon is now Zimmerman's backup. You can make an argument for Teahen but Rendon has a right handed power bat. If he shows that in Potomac I wouldn't be surprised to see Davey reach down for him in an emergency. That is after all Davey's managing style.

  6. peric - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Oops I guess I forgot about IL All Star Carlos Rivero. That is kind of interesting … in that superb fielding third bagger Carlos Rivero is in AAA and just now getting the hang of hitting at the closest you can get to major league pitching while developing his power stroke all at the young age of 23. While Rendon is 22. Excellent organizational depth at third base if you throw Zach Walters into the mix:Rivero AAA 23Walters AA 22Rendon A+ 22

  7. alexva - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Rivero is 24 and should never be mentioned in the same sentence with Rendon.

  8. rogieshan - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Rivero has a cannon arm, slow feet and average range, so I would hardly rate him as a "superb fielding third bagger", Plus, he's a seven-year minor leaguer, a free swinger, who rarely walks. Walters is a better prospect but questions remain whether he can develop defensively to play in the bigs. Rendon is an elite prospect who is one more ill-advised interview away from being labelled a malingerer.

  9. alexva - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Rogie, I read some blog feedback that discounted the interview. Harper was evidently mischaracterized so I'd lean toward giving Rendon the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  10. rogieshan - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Alexva, okay, fair enough. The fact Rendon is rehabbing is a very good sign. Hope he gets back on the fast track.

  11. JD - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Peric, Rendon is Zim's backup after 6 professional at bats? non higher than A ball? come on. Even players such as Trout, Rizzo, Hosmer, Posey, Belt took a couple of years to graduate. He's not seeing DC until Sep 2013 at the earliest and that's if he stays healthy and makes it through Potomac and Harrisburg.

  12. UnkyD - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I wouldn't write it off, completely, JD… If Rendon rakes enough to get to Harrisburg before the end of August, and (God forbid!) something happens to make 3B available… Just sayin, it's not impossible. I don't see him coming up to watch, though….

  13. md_schmidt - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Peric – I believe Walters has been playing more at SS than 3B. Not to say he couldn't play there but I think the Nats will see how far he can go there before sliding him over, don't you think?I would say that right now, Lombo is Zimm's backup. And if Zimm were to go to DL, my guess is that Lombo would get the starts at 3B and they might then call up a C Brown or Teahen. I would cringe at Rivero getting called up personally. Regarding Rendon, a lot of eyes will be on him during his rehab to see how quickly he can recover and to see if he's ready to progress up to AA so he can do the AFL. I thought he really hurt himself with that interview; made it sound like he's complacent and OK with writing off the season. Not something expected from a top draft pick. I hope someone in the FO got ahold of him and coached him a little and I wish him a full recovery. Would be nice to see how far he can go.

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