Author: Drew Silva

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Anthony Rendon expected to begin playing in minor league rehab games this Friday

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Via Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com

Fresh off a week where both Jayson Werth and Denard Span returned to their lineup, the Nationals are close to getting another significant boost, as star third baseman Anthony Rendon is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment by the end of the week.

Rendon played three innings Monday in an extended spring training game and will try to play five innings on Wednesday as a final test of his injured left knee.

The 24-year-old former first-round pick was diagnosed with a sprained MCL in early March and the Nationals had been easing him back into action this month at their spring training complex in Viera, Florida.

Rendon broke out in 2014 with an .824 OPS, 21 homers, 83 RBI, 17 steals, and 111 runs scored.

Video: Giancarlo Stanton hit a bomb in Philly

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Watch this fourth-inning Giancarlo Stanton solo home run soar high and deep — all the way into the visitors bullpen — Tuesday evening at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park …

That was the third home run of the season for Stanton and it netted him his 12th RBI in 14 games.

Diamondbacks sign Kevin Frandsen to minor league deal

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As first reported by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks have signed infielder Kevin Frandsen to a minor league contract and assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate in Reno.

Frandsen was released by the Nationals at the end of spring training after recording just three hits over 35 at-bats in the Grapefruit League. He had designs this winter on becoming Washington’s starting second baseman, but that never seemed likely.

The 32-year-old is a .259/.313/.350 career hitter in 1,350 plate appearances at the major league level.

He’ll give Arizona organizational depth at third base while Jake Lamb nurses a foot injury.

Christian Yelich scratched again with lingering back injury

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Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has the news …

Yelich was also a late scratch from the Marlins’ lineup exactly one week ago with the same lower back issue.

The 23-year-old outfielder is off to a frustrating start this season, batting just .200/.265/.222 with one extra-base hit (a double) in 49 plate appearances. And the Marlins are in last place in the NL East with a 3-10 record.

Yelich signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with Miami just before Opening Day.

Yasiel Puig returns to the Dodgers’ starting lineup

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From beat writer Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times comes word that Yasiel Puig will be back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Giants after appearing in just one game over the last eight days because of a left hamstring injury.

Puig played in Saturday’s game versus the Rockies and even went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, but he was hobbling around the basepaths and in the outfield, so he got a few more days of maintenance.

The 24-year-old Cuban star boasts an .886 OPS in 34 plate appearances this season for the Dodgers, who lead the National League West with a record of 9-3.