The infielder and left fielder will play seven innings in left field Friday, and could rejoin the Nationals in Miami as early as Saturday.
Though Rendon tries to stay out of the spotlight, his performance on the field has made that impossible. Entering Thursday night’s series-opener against the Marlins, the 24-year-old was hitting .285 with 20 home runs, 85 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
It was his first public comment since abruptly resigning as Rangers manager 13 days earlier. Washington’s wife, Gerry, sat in a chair to the side of the podium with an attorney. They left without taking questions, with Washington putting his right hand on her right shoulder as they departed through a back door.
The Nats won the division title going away without a .300 hitter, a 15-game winner, a 25-home run hitter or a 100-RBI man. They won it with a rookie manager who lost his biggest bats in the opening weeks of the season, and has been without one of the team’s best players for much of the year. They won because of a group of Mike Rizzo moments.
Three young Nats — Taylor, Souza and Treinen — get the full September big league experience thanks to the veterans getting a break following Tuesday night’s clinch of the NL East division.
Hard decisions await manager Matt Williams. He said Wednesday that he expects Zimmerman to play “pretty regularly” when he returns from the disabled list. Again, Zimmerman will be an option in left field and at first and third base.
The Nationals will put out a lineup of backups, from the mound to the outfield, Wednesday night. It will be the first break for the regulars at the end of the season, one likely needed after a night of imbibing large quantities of alcohol.
Ian Desmond hit a mammoth two-run homer and scored the Nationals’ other run in a 3-0 win over the Braves Tuesday night that eliminated Atlanta from contention for the division title.
The Baltimore Orioles won their first AL East crown since 1997, using home runs by Steve Pearce and Jimmy Paredes to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Tuesday night before a boisterous crowd of 35,297 at Camden Yards.
It’s a battle of semantics occurring at an odd time of the season. In most situations, the team vying for the National League’s best record is not also replacing its closer in September. But, that’s where the Nationals find themselves.
The Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman had five at-bats and played three innings in the Instructional League Tuesday in Viera, Fla. According to manager Matt Williams, Zimmerman came out of the game feeling great.
The team announced the naming-rights deal at a ceremony Tuesday to officially break ground on the 41,500-seat stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2017.