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.
Jayson Werth came off the disabled list and returned to the Nationals’ lineup Monday and he may soon be joined in the outfield by Denard Span.
Span, who had offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia and then had another surgery in mid-March for a core muscle injury, has now been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Double-A.
Span was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable on March 9, so barring any setbacks he’s right on schedule. Michael Taylor has been filling in as the Nationals’ center fielder and leadoff man, but the 24-year-old rookie is just 6-for-29 (.207) with 11 strikeouts through seven games.
Jayson Werth is off the disabled list and back on the Nationals’ active roster after sitting out the first six games of the season recovering from January shoulder surgery.
Werth will take over as the starting left fielder, as the Nationals decided they’d rather have Bryce Harper is right field. Three different players filled in for Werth in the week he missed, led by Tyler Moore with three starts.
If healthy Werth provides a huge boost to the Nationals’ injury wrecked lineup. He’s hit .290 or higher in three straight seasons, grinds out long plate appearances and draws tons of walks, and still has 20-homer power in his mid-30s.
Last year he hit .292 with 16 homers, 37 doubles, and an .849 OPS in 147 games, ranking third among NL hitters with a .393 on-base percentage.
The Nationals’ lineup hasn’t looked nearly as intimidating as usual during the season’s first week, but an important piece is close to returning.
According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, outfielder Jayson Werth played in a doubleheader with Class A Potomac today as part of his minor league rehab assignment. Werth, who is working his way back from January shoulder surgery, homered and played the full game in left field in the first game before serving as the DH in the second one.
Werth has a scheduled off-day tomorrow, but assuming he feels good, he’ll be activated from the disabled list for Monday’s game against the Red Sox.
The Nationals have relied on a combination of Tyler Moore, Clint Robinson, and Reed Johnson in left field this week. They have combined to go 1-for-15 with a walk and an RBI coming into Saturday’s action. Getting Werth back will be nice, but the Nationals are also waiting on Denard Span and Anthony Rendon to get healthy.
The Nationals have had all sorts of injury issues this spring, but here’s a bit of good news for a change.
Jayson Werth continues to make solid progress from January surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder, as Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he played five innings in left field yesterday in a minor league game and got four at-bats. He will begin the season on the disabled list, but the belief is that he could be ready to join the Nationals within a week.
That’s welcome news for a lineup which will also be without Denard Span and Anthony Rendon to begin the year. We could see Michael Taylor and Tyler Moore in the outfield and Dan Uggla at second base on Opening Day against the Mets on Monday.