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Rendon back on bench as Nats seek offense

Apr 26, 2013, 9:34 PM EDT

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Anthony Rendon is on the Nats’ bench for the second straight night.

The Nationals promoted Anthony Rendon from Class AA Harrisburg last weekend, insisting the organization’s top prospect would play every day at third base while Ryan Zimmerman recovered from a hamstring strain.

But with Rendon off to a slow start in D.C., and with Davey Johnson’s reconfigured lineup producing eight runs Thursday night in an 8-1 victory over the Reds, the 22-year-old finds himself back on the bench tonight.

“I’m going at it day-by-day, and I don’t like to change a winner,” Johnson said this afternoon. “Nothing against Anthony Rendon. He’s a heck of a player, and he’s going to have a great career. But we’re in the here and now, and I’m worried about 25 guys. … That outweighs the need to play a youngster.”

Rendon has only two hits in 15 big-league at-bats so far, striking out five times. He’s also been charged with two errors at third base. Steve Lombardozzi didn’t directly contribute to Thursday night’s win, going 0-for-5, but the utilityman seemed a better fit as the Nationals’ No. 2 hitter with Jayson Werth dropped to the cleanup spot to provide protection for Bryce Harper.
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  1. timeless46 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    to be honest, I don't see the logic of sitting Rendon. He is a far better pure hitter than Lombo. Yes, he has had a rough start, but it was just four games. I suppose a reason to play Lombo is that Lombo will be on the team all year. But if that is the reason, why bring up Rendon in the first place.

  2. EmDash - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    I guess to give him a taste of the big leagues and fill a roster spot? Their use of him thus far certainly suggests that Davey was being honest when he said Rendon wasn't going to stay on the roster all year – unless more injuries happen. Two weeks of mostly-bench time won't hurt his development too much, I'd guess.

  3. NatsLady - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    If this were last year, he'd play. Davey ain't messing around this year. Rendon had a chance, not much of one, sure, but that was enough for Davey's eyes–which have seen a lot of infielders. Davey may like to "develop" players, just not this year. Get moving and devil take the hindmost. If the is a blowout or a rain delay or the team has won 5 straight and guys are tired, Rendon time.Too bad for the kid, he's benched in favor of the Nats utility guy, but Lombo will hold his own in major league games. Remember when Tyler Moore had to go back down. Didn't hurt anything except his ego. We will find out if Anthony sulks or if he has a "d*** you, I'm going to knock this chip on my shoulder right into your face!" Not a bad test of character and determination.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    I don't know NatsLady about not messing around. A slumping LaRoche? Tonight hopefully is his night.

  5. peric - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    All I know is THIS IS NOT WHAT Davey did when Harper was first adjusting to major league pitching and was struggling … at age 19!!!I am now on the fire Davey bandwagon. He sold himself to me as a manager who could both manage a winner while developing top young prospects. Well, Davey, Mr. Rendon is this franchise's top prospect. Bryce Harper is no longer a prospect. I don't like liars.

  6. peric - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Meanwhile the deeply declining Adam LaRoche continues on in the lineup? And Davey is going to wait until he starts hitting in July? That's why the Diamondbacks let him go.

  7. JaneB - Apr 27, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    I think a reason to pay Lombo instead of Rendon is that Lombo is hitting. Plain as that.

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