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Rendon makes the most of opportunity

Feb 25, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images file photo
Anthony Rendon clubbed a two-run homer during yesterday's game.

VIERA, Fla. — When a sudden and intense storm hit Space Coast Stadium during the fourth inning of yesterday's game, prompting a 1-hour, 6-minute delay, pretty much everyone in the Nationals starting lineup understood his workday had just ended.

Anthony Rendon, on the other hand, in no way wanted to be pulled out of the game, delay or not. He wanted another chance to hit, so he hoped Davey Johnson would forget to bench him like everyone else in the lineup.

"We kind of made eye contact, and I was kind of watching him walk around the dugout, telling everybody to sit down," the 22-year-old prospect said. "I was just sitting quiet, making sure he might not see me. And he looks at me and goes: 'You'll get another at-bat.'"

Good thing Johnson let Rendon step to the plate again, because one inning later the kid whacked a two-run homer to right-center, producing the Nationals' only two runs of the game against theRead more »

  1. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    So sad no videos available on MLB of great defensive plays yesterday. Hopefully some of our fans in Fla will post pix (hint, hint).

  2. Kirbs - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Hey, at least there is not a steroids issue there.

  3. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Well, at least Zim won't fall into that "He arrived at camp in the best shape of his life" curse.Zim, baby, they're called crunches. Try 'em sometime.

  4. timeless46 - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    He can't be as out of shape as he looks in that photo, can he?

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    timeless46 said… He can't be as out of shape as he looks in that photo, can he?Uh, yes. Why do you think he's so injury-prone?I'm starting to get like JayB. I'm beginning to think Rendon may play 75 games at third base this year.

  6. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    I'm missing some logic here, Sunshine. If Zim is injury-prone because he's out of shape, what does that say about Rendon's injury history and training regimen?IMO, Zim is often injured because he, like the boy-Phenom, plays all out, including a flip on home plate that probably did serious damage to his shoulder. Even Werth, who is careful to the point of being "wall-shy" broke his wrist on a play he's made thousands of times. That's not to say RZ doesn't need to lose a few pounds. But that's what "spring training" is for.

  7. BigCat - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Not a good shot of Zim. Or Werth for that matter. Come on Jason, at least trim that ugly rats nest a little. Frickin guy looks homeless

  8. grifftl63 - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    I watched Rendon hit in the cage at Viera last week and he does have a sweet swing. Zim looked to me like he always does, but I also didn't think Chad Tracey didn't look too bad either, so take that for what it's worth.

  9. BigCat - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Didn't Zim get married this off season? Probably hasn't got out of the rack in a month. That'll make you soft

  10. BigCat - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Well at least no one showed up looking like Demitri Young. My God…..the guy ate his way out of baseball

  11. blovy8 - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Zim's a baseball player, not an athlete.

  12. original Nats Fan - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    perhaps Zim's recovery from the shoulder procedure has hampered some of his weight lifting, etc?

  13. natsfan1a - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    OTOH, I'm sure that we're all in the best shape of our lives and have never had an unflattering photo taken (or at least not posted on the interwebz). ;-)

  14. MicheleS - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    And PERHAPS it's the Shirt Zim is wearing or the angle at which the photo was taken. GEESH. Remember the Jeter is Fat Photo from the NY papers? Jeter look fat to anyone? Let's see the guy in his uniform before you crown him fat and out of shape.And before anyone crowns Rendon the new FOF, lets see him play a full season healthy. (and I do love that sweet swing, so Espi watch out, b/c your's is the place that is shakiest on the team)

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Are you all serious about RZim? He was larger in 2006 with the baby fat and did fine as a size 50 and put up great Rookie numbers. Just look back at the photos and you could see the big round face.Then he bulked up and lost a lot of fat in 2007 and was a size 48 then started to have those nagging soft muscle injuries.I'm thinking (and hoping) Ryan knows what he's doing.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    So Espinosa gets one at bat and about the only good news is he didn't strike out. And he did not use the leg kick.

  17. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Aren't beer bellies a requirement for NASCAR?

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    NatsJack, that's actually good news on Espi.

  19. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    But getting back to Rendon–is it just the angle of the photo, or is he using a 34 inch bat there? And if I showed up in uniform with a really high number, do you think they'd notice I wasn't supposed to be taking part in drills?

  20. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    This article on the M's mismanagement of Michael Morse is really blunt and interesting. Shows the importance of having a clear path for development of talented players, and not letting aging veterans (no matter how expensive) block their way. Michael Morse is back, but Mariners can learn from once letting him gohttp://seattletimes.com/html/jerrybrewer/2020428615_brewer25.html

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    As far as Rendon, Espi, RZim, the pitchers, etc, its waaaay too early to be making any conclusions except on mechanics and approach.All I know about Rendon is what I have been saying since I first saw him play is that he has the ability to barrel up balls anywhere in the zone. I have compared him to being a Placido Polanco type in contact and the positions he can play. I haven't changed my opinion but he has to stay healthy. Sure, he hit a HR but he's not a power hitter. He's going to earn his stripes barreling up line drives in gaps and controlling a high OBP.Davey will be personally working with Anthony on working the 2nd base bag. They need him ready to be available if any infielder (except 1st base) goes on the DL. He won't play SS but if Desi went on the DL then Rendon could take over at 2nd with Espi sliding over to SS. Again, Lombo may be the guy that steps in. Maybe Rendon isn't seen until a September call-up. One Spring game hasn't changed much but I have been super excited about Rendon since the day he was drafted.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    NatsLady, that's an interesting article on the Mariners and the author is very apologetic for the current GM.Morse is on a 1 year deal and won't be blocking anyone. They are also an AL team and can easily get Morse time as the DH.They just traded away Carp and could actually make a trade to the Yankees as they are in desperate need of a power corner OF right now if the Mariners really thought they were blocking a young phenom.

  23. natsfan1a - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Just tell them that you're the player to be named later. :-)Sec. 3, My Sofa said… And if I showed up in uniform with a really high number, do you think they'd notice I wasn't supposed to be taking part in drills? February 25, 2013 10:02 AM

  24. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Ghost, absolutely too early. That's why even though I graded Bray an F for Saturday, I feel he has time to work on his mechanics and his fielding. The baby outfielders (Perez and C. Brown) have made a few mistakes out there, too. IMO, the only pitchers that should be in competitive shape right now are Detwiler and Gio–because they will be in the WBC and you want them not to pull a hammy or something.BTW, Bernadina tweeted that he made it to Taiwan after a 20-hour flight and the first thing they did was make him take PR photos.

  25. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Ghost, I wasn't thinking of the M's, I was thinking of this very conversation we are having here about Rendon. As Davey said, "All he needs are reps and a place to play."

  26. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Boz is chatting at 11.Thomas Boswell ‏@ThomasBoswellWPMy chat is at 11. Join me for Nats, MLB, Hoyas hoops, Daytona 500, Caps, Wiz, Oscars, whatever you want. http://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-boswell-130225.html

  27. upperdeck4 - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Well at least no one showed up looking like Demitri Young. My God…..the guy ate his way out of baseball_____Cut him some slack. He had diabetes and that affected his weight.

  28. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Here's another pic of RZ (and ALR) at the Daytona 500. I hope advertising NEVER takes over MLB uniforms!Daytona 500http://www.whosay.com/ryanzimmerman/photos/296311

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said… But getting back to Rendon–is it just the angle of the photo, or is he using a 34 inch bat there? If you can measure his bat as a 34 from a photo, you have a real talent.

  30. Mac - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    The only area where Zimmerman needs to adjust his approach is the post-game spread. He should be turning the other way.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, I wasn't thinking of the M's, I was thinking of this very conversation we are having here about Rendon. As Davey said, "All he needs are reps and a place to play."I thought of Rendon when I was reading that also. He's the only one I could see being blocked but everyone knows his potential.With the re-signing of ALR, I think the Rendon path isn't as clear and has to come from absolutely dominating the Minors this year because Lombo is still ahead on the depth chart.

  32. JD - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Ghost,I don't think we need to worry about Rendon being blocked just yet. Firstly he must put together a healthy productive season at the AA level and maybe just maybe we can discuss him for September. At the end of this year ALR will only have 1 year left on his contract so the Zim to 1st can become a topic for consideration once again. I think Lombo is a super sub whose bat only plays at 2nd base really. I think the comparison between Rendon and Polanco has some merit but I really think Rendon at 2nd is a recipe for injury.

  33. JD - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Ghost, BTW, to me Rendon's upside feels more like Bill Madlock, a doubles machine with 20 HR power and a smooth glove.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, absolutely too early. That's why even though I graded Bray an F for Saturday, I feel he has time to work on his mechanics and his fielding. The baby outfielders (Perez and C. Brown) have made a few mistakes out there, too.Bray faced a AAA lineup and did what he did and fell asleep covering 1st but its clearly early and is definitely a F for that effort.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    JD, we agree. I say Rendon has to "dominate" although Davey may already know what he knows just like he did with Bryce and dominating at AA isn't what he needs to see. I'd like to see dominance along with staying healthy of course.Staying healthy at 2nd is watching a Darwin Barney video as he did a nice piece for MLB Network. Barney is smaller than Rendon by at least 2 inches and he worked hard at sidestepping and clearing out of harm's way or athletically jump stepping over a slide. There is certainly an art to it and if Rendon is deemed ready to play 2nd he better master it.

  36. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Thinking of Rendon and his ankles at 2B makes me nervous. But Davey was a 2nd baseman, you have to figure he knows all the tricks and will be glad to pass them on.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    It sounds like JZim did shine in his 3 innings. Yes, it was like facing a split squad roster (no Stanton) but he was painting the corners and inducing weak contact.I found it interesting reading Mark's synopsis on what JZim was throwing and I also wonder if he was throwing a sinker. I didn't think Jordan threw a 2 seam but according to the official Brooks Baseball he threw some last year but Brooks goes off of movement and speed to differentiate between 2 seam and 4 seam fastballs as they don't ask the pitcher what he was throwing and I see Gonat covered the point that JZim had 50 sinkers credited for the entire season which is the equivalent of throwing only 1 to 2 sinkers a start in 32 appearances.If JZim was throwing sinker(s) yesterday, then that would be a big deal. Also, if he was throwing multiple changeups yesterday, that's a big deal since he only threw 1 changeup per 48 pitches last year and threw exactly 48 pitches yesterday.JZim really has the ability to dominate if he can perfect this changeup. If he added a + 2 seamer, that would give him 5 pitches potentially. Strasburg's best "whiff" pitch is his changeup by a large margin. In a 2 strike count, Strasburg has struck out 56.4% of all batters on a changeup on the last pitch in that at-bat compared to 26.5% on his 4 seam fastball.Note to JZim, Det and Gio, perfect a changeup.

  38. natsfan1a - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. natsfan1a - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Let's try that again.On another note, Loria is in the news again with full-page ads featuring his letter to Marlins fans. Riiight.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    No more mustache for Ian Desmond.

  41. Doc - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Ghost your discussion and stats research reminds me about something that the noted baseball sage and expert Bryce Aron Max Harper was quoted as saying last year about the changeup. Essentially, Mr. Harper stated that the changeup was the most significant pitch currently in a pitcher's arsenal—particularly if you are a LH hitter. A guy named Clippard seems to reinforce this theory.When Harper speaks, Nats fans listen!

  42. Mac - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Desmond's porn star stache may be gone, but he had it on photo day. That means it will live on up on the big screen every time he comes to bat this year at Nationals Park.

  43. NatsLady - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    As a supplement to my "Lefties for sale" I'm also researching what it would mean use Clip as a "LOOGY." He has one of the higher pitch count/inning on the team, but it's turning out to be hard to break that down as to whether his pitch count/inning is higher for righties or lefties. IOW, does he need less effort to get lefties out? If he's going to engage in those 14-pitch battles to get one hitter out, it's not saving him much because you have to factor in the warm-ups.I think we're agreed that care needs to be taken with Clip's shoulder and his exhaustion level, but one of the points Showalter emphasizes in his bullpen management is you don't want a pitcher to warm up more than once in a game. I think the same reasoning is behind Davey's emphasis on "roles," so guys know when they will be pitching and can start loosening up and projecting the hitters they will face in the line-up. It will be interesting to see if Davey can accomplish the A-bullpen/B-bullpen concept this year.

  44. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Sec. 3, My Sofa said… But getting back to Rendon–is it just the angle of the photo, or is he using a 34 inch bat there?———– If you can measure his bat as a 34 from a photo, you have a real talent.It's a skill, guessing the length, esp. when there's one hand over the knob. Nevermind where I learned it.

  45. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Actually, with the bat at close to 45 degrees and the ball in the frame for reference, if his hand weren't covering some indefinite part of the knob, it wouldn't be tough.

  46. Mac - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Sec 3, how do you account for shrinkage?

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Doc said… Ghost your discussion and stats research reminds me about something that the noted baseball sage and expert Bryce Aron Max Harper was quoted as saying last year about the changeup. Essentially, Mr. Harper stated that the changeup was the most significant pitch currently in a pitcher's arsenal—particularly if you are a LH hitter. A guy named Clippard seems to reinforce this theory.When Harper speaks, Nats fans listen! February 25, 2013 11:58 AM Thanks. It's fascinating on that whole "art of deception" as to pitching that if you can drop your fastball to changeup 7.5% or more in speed from the same arm slot and delivery that it's a devestating pitch as the batter is thinking fastball and swings & misses.By the way, JZim went into Spring Training last year throwing a new changeup and abandoned it. Strasburg doesn't throw a slider but he throws 4 pitches that are all excellent 4 seam, 2 seam, curveball, changeup.JZim throws essentially 3 pitches that are excellent, 4 seam, slider, curveball and needs that change-up.Detwiler throws 4 pitches and 2 are + pitches in his 4 seam and 2 seam and also adds in a good curveball and a changeup. Davey said last week he has to throw all of his pitches.Gio throws 4 pitches with his 4 seam and curveball and throws a 2 seam and a changeup. He could help himself from working on the changeup as he threw it 8% of the time last year.Dan Haren throws 5 pitches and has totally abandoned his changeup as his velocity fell. He throws the Cutter, Sinker, Splitter, and will mix in a straight 4 seam and an occasional curveball.

  48. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Sec 3, how do you account for shrinkage?I generally put it down to pilverage–somebody getting their hands in the till.Anyway, if I did that right (turned it 45° through both the y and z axes, and figured the knob was in the middle of his lower hand), then I was way underestimating the foreshortening, and that's nowhere near as big as it looks.

  49. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    *pilferage

  50. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    *over-estimatingwhy do I even bother?

  51. Doc - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Good stuff, Ghost!I'm constatntly amazed by some of the execellent research guys like you do on NI. I know that it is readily available, but putting it together takes some time and effort.Always enjoy it!Using JZim and Det examples, it seems that pitching coaches and managers, like Cat and Davey, need to take a more direct approach to what their pitchers throw. Last season I constantly wondered why Davey/Cat weren't more direct with Det and his failure to mix in his off-speed.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    New Post

  53. Snivius - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    If Zimmerman had taken his t-shirt off at the raceway, you could have spotted a tattoo cicrumscribing his bloated navel, reading:WHAT, ME WORRY?(Alfred E. Neuman's face)I'M SET FOR LIFE

  54. Rabbit34 - Feb 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    A good position for Rendon is second base. Then, in two years, third base.

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