Washington is starting to get healthy, with both left fielder Jayson Werth and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman expected to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Nationals’ lineup tonight against the Marlins.
Werth has been out since mid-May with a fractured wrist, while Zimmerman has been out since early June with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Their returns come just a few days after infielder Anthon Rendon came off the shelf.
Center fielder Denard Span and right-hander Stephen Strasburg remain on the ever-crowded Nationals disabled list, but Strasburg is slated to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Wednesday.
The first-place Nationals have limped out of the All-Star break, but they are about to get a boost to their lineup, as infielder Anthony Rendon has been activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing the past month with a strained left quad.
Rendon began a minor league rehab assignment a week ago with High-A Potomac and went 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles over six games. He’s playing second base and batting second in his return tonight against the Pirates. Meanwhile, Yunel Escobar is back at third base after missing two games with a sore left wrist.
Rendon began the season on the disabled list with a sprained MCL in his left knee before suffering an oblique strain, so he has only appeared in 18 games this season. Finally having him healthy down the stretch would be huge for the Nationals, who also have Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, and Denard Span making their way back from injuries.
The first-place Nationals could have two of their better bats back in the lineup next week. Both Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth are set to play rehab games for Single-A Potomac on Saturday.
Rendon has been out since June 25 with a strained left quad. So as to tread more carefully with the injury, the Nationals intend to have him play third base initially on the rehab assignment, even though they’d prefer to use him at second base in the majors.
Werth, who is coming back from a broken wrist, started playing for Potomac on Thursday and will play his third straight game today. He went 1-for-5 the last two days, starting in left field Thursday and DH last night.
Both Rendon and Werth also opened the season on the disabled list for the Nationals before returning for brief stints; Rendon has played 18 games in the majors this year, compared to 27 for Werth. Danny Espinosa has been pretty terrific in picking up the slack for Rendon. However, Nationals left fielders have largely struggled in Werth’s absence.