Washington Nationals’ third baseman Anthony Rendon acknowledged last night, after his second rehab start at High-A Potomac, that he’d suffered a hairline fracture in his left big toe when he fouled a pitch off his foot back on April 13th.
Before Rendon told Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes the real reason it took so long for him to return from the Disabled List, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo talked to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this week about giving the 27-year-old infielder some extra protection at the plate once he started playing games again.
“We’ve made some adjustments to his footwear, his shoes, and you know the soles of his spikes and that type of thing to kind of protect the toe and he’s passed all those tests. We’re going to give him another test today and then we’ll assess where he’s at and if he goes on a rehab assignment and when we get him back to the big leagues.”
Rendon went to play two games with the P-Nats, going 5 for 8 with two doubles during his brief rehab assignment before the Nationals announced that he’d return to the majors.
Davey Martinez talked before Saturday afternoon’s matchup with Philadelphia about what the team saw from Rendon in the rehab starts.
“He looked good playing the last couple days,” Martinez told reporters before the second of three with the Phillies. “His at bats were really good, he’s moving a lot better than what I anticipated, so I just expect him to go out there and do his thing like normal. He’s excited about being back and he says he feels good.”
Rendon, who put up a .286/.355/.411 line in 62 PAs before he suffered the injury, was right back out there doing his thing, walking twice in his first three plate appearances in his return to the lineup, but the first-year skipper said they’d be watching closely to see how the foot reacts.
“We’ll keep an eye on it for sure,” Martinez explained, “hopefully he won’t hit it again, but he says he feels fine. I talked to him this morning, said he felt really good, and yesterday he ran around, hit a double, and he said he felt fine.”
“If he gets a little sore, it gets tender, I might have to give him a day, but I’m going by what he told me today, and he said he feels good.”
Rendon did have quite a bit of protection on the foot, however, as Rizzo said he would.
“They’ve got this big concoction he’s going to wear to cover his foot,” Martinez said, “... so hopefully that will do that trick, and hopefully he doesn’t foul a ball off there again.”
Rendon managed to avoid fouling anything off his foot. He went 0 for 2 with the two walks on the day in the Nationals’ 3-1 loss.
“He looked good. He looked really good,” Martinez said after the game. “Had some good walks. Ran well. So he’ll be out there tomorrow.”
Rendon didn’t seem too interested in discussing how his toe felt after his first major league game since April 13th.
Rendon on if anything is lingering with his toe injury: "Yeah, I think just Tanner just had that one bad pitch and Hoskins happened to hit it. But overall, I felt like he was moving the ball in and out of the zone and he did a good job Unfortunately, we couldn't get him the win."— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 6, 2018