Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo provided an update on Anthony Rendon's recovery from an MCL strain in his left knee when the General Manager spoke to MLB Network Radio "Inside Pitch" hosts Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on Monday. Rendon, 24, suffered the injury on a diving play at third base in a March 9th Grapefruit League game.
"He's getting treatment," Rizzo said when asked how Rendon was doing. "He's running on the treadmill and he's progressing."
"I don't have any concerns, from what the medical people tell me, about long-term, no long-term concerns whatsoever," Rizzo continued.
"But as the games click off and the time clicks by, eleven games to Opening Day, there may be a question of does he have enough at bats, is he ready, once he's healthy, to perform."
Nats' skipper Matt Williams addressed those concerns again this morning, talking to reporters before today's game about Rendon's chances of making it back in time to play in the season opener being "in jeopardy" since he's still nursing a sore knee.
Rendon, Williams explained, underwent a second MRI on the knee since it was still sore, and though it revealed no structural damage, the knee is still not where they want it.
"'Everything’s healing,'" Williams told reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman. "'It’s not going as fast as everybody hoped, including Anthony.'"
As for Rendon's availability for Opening Day on April 6th?
The full update on Rendon, unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, plus updates on Werth, Strasburg, Storen, McLouth: http://t.co/JszShQMLHG— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) March 25, 2015
"'At this point, it’s in jeopardy, because he hasn’t been able to do the baseball activity,'" Williams said, though he did allow that Rendon could come in feeling better tomorrow and ramp up quickly. "'But right now, it could be in jeopardy because he simply hasn’t had the baseball activity to get ready.'"
Williams says if Rendon isn't ready for the opener, "Stewart has played there, Danny has been playing over there, Cutter Dykstra"..— Craig Heist (@cheistsports) March 25, 2015
Williams....Franny (Kevin Frandsen) has played there— Craig Heist (@cheistsports) March 25, 2015
Should Rendon not be available for the season opener, Williams mentioned no-longer-switch-hitting infielder Danny Espinosa (who started at third this afternoon vs the Cardinals in Jupiter, Florida), veteran infielder Ian Stewart (who signed a minor league deal with the Nats this winter) and Kevin Frandsen as potential hot-corner options.
Rendon, a 2011 1st Round pick by the Nationals out of Rice University, put up a .287/.351/.473 line in 153 games and 683 plate appearances last season, with 39 doubles, six triples and 21 home runs in a +6.5 fWAR campaign.
"Rendon put himself on the map as one of the really bright players in the game," Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier last September.
We may have to wait to see what Rendon can do in his third major league campaign.