Stephen Drew stepped in for Anthony Rendon in the series opener in Miami and went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI after the Washington Nationals’ everyday third baseman injured his neck on a diving play early in the game.
Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker told reporters before Tuesday night’s game that Rendon was available if needed, but they were taking a cautious approach after a fairly scary injury.
“You just don’t want to take a chance and have it linger,” Baker explained, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, on Tuesday afternoon.
“He could be available in an emergency, which I hope not. And we’ll check and see how he’s doing tomorrow.”
“It definitely was a little nerve-wracking, a little scary,” Rendon said on Monday. “It was a jolt of pain. A lot of heat in my neck.”
Baker said after the loss in the first game of three in Miami that he was happy he had Drew to fill in after the injury.
Drew went 3 for 5 in the Nationals’ 12-3 win over the Fish on Tuesday night.
“I like having him around a lot,” Baker said when asked about having Drew back after the infielder missed significant time with a hamstring issue early this season.
“He can play second, third, and short and first base in a pinch and you don’t lose a lot.
“You don’t lose anything on defense. You lose a little range and a little speed at this point in time in his career, but he can still swing it and it’s great having him back.”
In 22 games and 51 plate appearances this season, Drew has a .348/.373/.500 line with four doubles and a home run.
Rendon is back at third this afternoon, and Drew is in the lineup too, getting a start at second base with Daniel Murphy sitting out the third of three with the Fish.