Discussing the organization’s handling of Anthony Rendon, who injured his left elbow when he was hit by a pitch in Miami on April 20th, tested it in a game on the 26th, but did not end up going on the Injured List until April 30th, Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo explained to reporters last week that they were doing everything they could to avoid having to put the 28-year-old on the IL.
“If Anthony Rendon is going to be ready in 4-5 days, rather than put him on the 10-Day [IL], I’d rather play short for 3-4-5 days than lose Rendon for an extra five days,” Rizzo said. “So I think that went into the decision until we felt that it was time to give this some significant time ... we’ll see where he’s at on May 7th when he can return and hopefully he’ll be ready to come back.”
Before the Nats’ series opener with the Milwaukee Brewers in Miller Park on Monday night (May 6th), Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters that barring any setbacks in a last batting practice test, Rendon would be back as soon as he was eligible to return to the lineup.
“He’s going to hit today in the cage,” Martinez said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“And then hopefully barring no setbacks, he should be ready tomorrow.”
With all of the injuries they’re currently dealing with, which include a broken finger for Trea Turner, plantar fasciitis for Ryan Zimmerman, a shoulder strain for Matt Adams, jammed left wrist for Michael A. Taylor, and more, with Yan Gomes (left elbow contusion) and Andrew Stevenson (back spams) injured last night, getting Rendon back is a significant addition to the Nationals’ lineup.
“With Anthony, it’s not just one guy,” Martinez said. “It’s a guy that’s in the middle of our lineup. And don’t forget his defense. His defense is utterly important for us. He plays unbelievable defense at third base. I’ve said this before: He’s a guy that our lineup revolves around. So getting him back will be huge.”
Before the IL stint, the third baseman had a .356/.442/.740 line, 10 doubles, six home runs, nine walks, and 15 Ks in 20 games and 86 plate appearances in what could be his final run with the Nationals, since he’s headed for free agency unless he signs a contract extension before the end of the season.
Martinez was asked last night if he anticipated the Nationals would need to make additional roster moves after both Gomes and Stevenson left last night’s game.
“Yan has a contusion. He got hit pretty good on his forearm, tightened up on him, and then Andrew Stevenson, after diving at first base, he had back spasms, so his back tightened up after a swing. We had to take him out. We’ll see how they are tomorrow. I know Gomes had an X-ray, everything came back fine, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and Andrew the same.”
“If Anthony comes back in and says he feels good, right now that’s the only move we’ll make.”
It was not the only move the Nats made in the end.
This afternoon, the Nationals made a series of moves. Rendon was reinstated from the IL; Erick Fedde was called up from Double-A Harrisburg; Carter Kieboom was optioned out to Triple-A Fresno; and Tony Sipp was placed on the 10-Day IL with an oblique strain.
Fedde impressed in a relief outing recently, and the Nationals decided to move him into a relief role at Double-A to get him ready to work out of the pen in the majors at some point, which ended up being now-ish.
Kieboom has struggled at the plate, going 2 for 27 over his last eight games (.074/.167/.074) with three walks and 11 Ks in 30 plate appearances, and in the field, with four errors early in his major league career. He’ll have a lot to work on when he gets back to Triple-A.
As for Sipp? We’ll have to wait on word from the Nationals on that one, since there was no obvious issue that we saw from him on the mound...