After he discussed Gio Gonzalez's solid outing and Bryce Harper's big game in the 4-1 win in the series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams provided some updates on injured Nats and roster moves made on Sunday. Anthony Rendon got another day of work in on the final day of the homestand, and now he'll head back to Florida as the Nationals fly to Chicago for the start of their three-game set with the Cubs.
"Good work day today," Williams said.
"[Rendon will] go to Florida and he'll start some games down there in a controlled environment where he can lead off an inning, he can play as many innings of defense as he wants to play and work through a day. The plan is that he'll play about three or four innings tomorrow and move on from there. So, whatever that amounts to in those three or four innings he'll do and then see how he is the next day, but good three days of work here."
• "Publicly, the Nationals keep saying Rendon will play both second and third base when he returns. But many signs continue to point to Rendon playing second..." - "Anthony Rendon headed to Viera to play in extended spring training games" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "Manager Matt Williams explained the plan moving forward after Rendon successfully went through workouts at Nationals Park in recent days." - "Rendon to play simulated games in Viera to test oblique" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "Anthony Rendon had a Sunday morning workout at Nationals Park and didn't have any problems." - "Rendon to play in simulated game Monday" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Jayson Werth, who's on the DL with a wrist contusion courtesy of an Odrisamer Despaigne fastball during the last road trip, will join the Nationals in Wrigley Field.
"Until he's ready to go play, he'll be actually in Chicago with us on Tuesday," Williams told reporters, "but he'll join us on the road and we'll see how it goes from there."
The Nationals also called Taylor Jordan up on Sunday, with A.J. Cole optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse.
"A.J. is down for a few days anyway," the Nats' skipper explained, after Cole threw 65 pitches in relief of Stephen Strasburg on Sunday.
"We have a spot start, if you will, tomorrow and certainly need some length in the bullpen if we need it. So, that's the reasoning. A.J. is going to go back down and get back on his normal turn and continue."
By the way, as his hometown newspaper notes, Jordan has been pretty good recently:
• "[Jordan] has not allowed a homer in seven starts, yielding just one run in each of last two starts. Batters are hitting .209 against him." - "Tracking Brevard's sports stars: Fielder, Jordan rise" - Hillard Grossman, Florida Today
• "Jordan was recalled briefly on April 15 but returned to Syracuse the following day without making an appearance with the Nats." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats recall Taylor Jordan for long relief support" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
NATS BEAT: Harper's big day, Gonzalez' start vs Philllies
• "Bryce Harper’s growth this season into one of baseball’s elite players hasn’t solely been limited to more consistent power and improved patience at the plate." - "Harper’s all-around play helps Nats nail down series win against Phillies" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "After the game, manager Matt Williams revealed the secret to Harper's success this season and it's more than just leading the National League in homers." - "Harper comes through in clutch to down Phils" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Harper has been on an unbelievable surge the last three weeks, and Sunday provided a great example of just how far his offense and defense have advanced..." - "Harper's balanced game leads to another Nationals win, 4-1 victory" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• "Bryce Harper continues to be a game-changer for the Nationals as he drove in two runs in a 4-1 victory over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park." - "Clutch Harper backs solid Gio in victory" - Bill Ladson, Ben Standig, nationals.com
• "Add it all up and Gonzalez was able to battle through seven scattered hits and a walk to put in one of his best starts of the 2015 season." - "Advice from teammates helps Gio get back on track vs. Phillies" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "For a brief moment in the fourth inning, it appeared as if Gio Gonzalez might flash back to his poor outing from a week ago." - "Gio cruises after wiggling out of tough spot" - Jacob Emert, nationals.com
• "Harper’s walk in the third inning gave him 39 on the season through 44 games and 146 total at-bats. He had 38 walks last year in 100 games (352 ABs)." - "Nats 4, Phillies 1: Gio’s strong start leads to another series win" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "Closer Drew Storen gave up a one-out double to pinch-hitter Grady Sizemore in the ninth but then shut the door to claim his 14th save." - "Nationals Pastime: Gonzalez, Harper lead Nats to 4-1 win" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "'I thrive on big crowds,' Harper said. 'Of course. I love playing in front of a lot of people. If it's a little crowd, I hate playing. I mean, truly.'" - "Nationals Pastime: Nats roll through 'epic' homestand with eighth straight series win" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Fister, who is on the disabled list with right forearm tightness, said he is feeling better and hopes to start throwing soon." - "Fister hopes to start throwing soon" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
COLUMN TIME: Boz talks attendance; D.C. being a baseball town?; Loverro on Stras
• "Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos once said 'there are no real baseball fans in D.C.'" - "Nationals haven’t won anything, but fans prove D.C. is a good sports town" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post
• "We’ve seen many versions of Strasburg since that night — the dominant Strasburg, the hard-luck Strasburg, and, of course, the most famous, the injured Strasburg — but we haven’t seen the one who can’t pitch." - "The second coming of Stephen Strasburg seems to be a long way away" - Thom Loverro, Washington Times
NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Cubs previews + Strasburg on BBTN
• "'Bring it on,' manager Joe Maddon said. 'I’m sure the place will be raucous.'" - "Cubs will see what they’re made of against Nationals" - Patrick Mooney, CSN Chicago
• "Bryce Harper is batting .480 (12-for-25) with four home runs and 10 RBIs. Kris Bryant has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games." - "Series preview: Nationals at Cubs" - Chicago Tribune
• "The Baseball Tonight crew discuss Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg's recent performance and if there is a reason for Washington to worry." - "Strasburg's struggles" - ESPN Video
• "Don't get crazy and cut him loose, but if you want to shop him aggressively and let him be someone else's headache, I wouldn't blame you." - "MLB Quick Hits: Strasburg gets rocked again" - D.J. Foster, FOX Sports
• "There's a good deal of risk involved, but there's also strikeout upside by starting Tanner Roark against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field. The hosts are whiffing at a bloated 27 percent this month at home versus righties." - "Fantasy baseball daily notes for May 24, 2015 -- pitcher rankings, batter ratings, news, injuries, next level" - Todd Zola, Fantasy Baseball - ESPN
• "21: Nationals Park, Washington: Fairly new but ordinary." - "Roadtrippers guide to every MLB ballpark" - Pete Caldera, NorthJersey.com
NATS MINORS: Pivetta with P-Nats; Jordan gets call; Espino hits, pitches
• "A scout told me that he has been very impressed with former Clemson catcher Spencer Kieboom, who has done a nice job recovering from Tommy John surgery a couple of years ago." - "Minor league notes: Ramsey, den Dekker, Kieboom, Ward and more" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• "In other moves, Washington released Chiefs first baseman Kila Ka'aihue and promoted outfielder Caleb Ramsey from Double-A Harrisburg." - "Washington Nationals promote Syracuse Chiefs ace Taylor Jordan" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com
Potomac (19-24) 1, Myrtle Beach (26-15) 0, WP: N. Pivetta (3-3), LP: T. Skulina (1-5), S: N. Lee (4), HR: None— Potomac Nationals (@PNats42) May 25, 2015
• "Pivetta (3-3, 1.41) making his eighth start of the season, pitched six scoreless innings against the Pelicans for his third win of the season." - "Potomac Nationals vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game Recap May 24th, 2015" - Potomac Nationals News
• "The Hagerstown Suns (22-21) walked home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday afternoon..." - "Walk-off walk leads to split series with Legends" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News
• New Britain 1, Harrisburg 2 - Colin Bates, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 Ks - Harrisburg Senators Box
• "Chiefs starter Espino played in his first game in a Chiefs uniform this season on Sunday, throwing a gem for Syracuse." - "Paolo Espino, Dan Butler lead the Syracuse Chiefs to a 5-3 win over the Indianapolis Indians" - Syracuse Chiefs News
• NL EAST UPDATES: Herrera's mistakes; Mets' closed door meeting; Fish in water?
• Mets: "It was the third straight loss for the Mets (24-21) and the second time they have been swept in a series this season." - "Terry Collins holds team meeting after Mets fall to Pirates" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News
• Marlins: "While you were sleeping, the Marlins made quite a splash, jumping into the Clevelander pool to celebrate the win..." - "While you were sleeping, the Marlins made quite a splash, jumping into the Clevelander pool to celebrate the win" - Fish@Bat
Too much negativity and hatred on social media these days...smile people...enjoy life! Off to Pittsburgh ✈️— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) May 24, 2015
• Braves: "Foltynewicz attacked the zone with his mid-90s fastball, which led to a low pitch count (he needed only 66 pitches to get through six innings and finished with 98)..." - "Foltynewicz shines with 'dominating' outing" - Carlos Collazo, braves.com
• Phillies: "For the second time in three games, Odubel Herrera was hindered Sunday by his inexperience in the outfield." - "Phillies Notes: Two Herrera mistakes costly for Phillies" - Philadelphia Inquirer