VIERA, Fla. — On his first day in Nationals camp, Anthony Rendon was told he’d be moving around the infield a bit this spring as a way to help get him more playing time.
On his fourth day in Nationals camp, Rendon spent the morning working at shortstop and second base with Triple-A manager Tony Beasley, working on his footwork at the position.
“He’s just taking some reps,” Beasley said. “I was very impressed. He’s a very high-aptitude kid. It seems like he can move around out there fine. His feet work correctly.
“(Second base) is just something that’s new. He’s played some short in the past but second is sort of new and it’s a blind spot to the runner so footwork is important. Most of the work was emphasized on footwork on the second base side. It’s a danger spot. You have a chance to get injured a lot if your footwork is not good. That’s probably going to be the focal point for him.”
That danger is one reason Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he’d be leery of putting Rendon in a game at second base before the Nationals’ 2011 first-round draft pick had two or three weeks working at the position with Johnson himself.
“I told him ‘You need two or three weeks with me before I’d even think about you playing over there because you can get your legs taken out from under you.’ I’d be hung up if he got hurt.”
As he came off the field after his work, Rendon said he felt good doing the exercises with Beasley and also added that he’s had no issues with the shoulder injury that forced him into a DH role at Rice and caused him to be mostly a spectator at the Nationals’ instructional league last fall.