Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon, who missed the first two months of the season with knee and oblique injuries, is headed back to the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps muscle.
Rendon played 18 games between the DL stints, hitting .290 with zero homers and a .737 OPS while splitting time between second base and third base defensively. Last season he played 157 of 162 games, leading the league in runs scored and finishing fifth in the MVP balloting.
He joins left fielder Jayson Werth, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, and backup outfielders Nate McLouth and Reed Johnson on the Nationals’ disabled list, forcing manager Matt Williams to put together a patchwork lineup that will once again likely include plenty of playing time for Danny Espinosa.
Here is the Nationals’ starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Brewers …
Harper got hit on the left knee by a pitch Saturday. He’ll ultimately be fine, but there is some swelling. Also absent for the Nats is catcher Wilson Ramos, who’s getting a day of maintenance. Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth are both on the disabled list. It’s a starting nine with a spring training feel.
First baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played through plantar fasciitis in his foot all season, but with his performance being terrible and the injury not getting any better the Nationals have decided to place him on the disabled list.
Zimmerman, who missed two-thirds of last season with injuries, hit just .209 with five homers and a .611 OPS in 56 games this year while transitioning from third base to first base due to shoulder problems.
Washington is also without left fielder Jayson Werth and Clint Robinson has been seeing regular playing time as one of his replacements, but manager Matt Williams could use Robinson at first base if he’s willing to turn left field over to rookie Michael Taylor and/or career-long infielder Danny Espinosa.
Robinson is a 30-year-old who hasn’t hit much in limited action yet, but he spent eight seasons in the minors hitting .302 with an .891 OPS.