Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon suffers ankle sprain

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Nationals infield prospect Anthony Rendon had to be carried off the field Saturday night during a game at High-A Lynchburg after falling awkwardly while trying to round third base in the fourth inning. But the diagnosis is in, and it’s not all that bad.

According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington’s Nats Insider, Rendon has been diagnosed with a left ankle sprain. It’s of the severe variety, but the Nationals and their fans can take solace in the fact that there was no fracture andno structural damage.

Rendon, the sixth-overall pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, broke his right ankle while playing for Team USA in 2010 and barely played the field in his final season at Rice University due to a right shoulder strain. The Nationals will hope that his early-career proneness to injuries fades as he approaches the majors.

Rendon has a double, a triple and two walks through the first six plate appearances of his professional career. The 21-year-old batted .371 with 46 doubles, 52 homers and 194 RBI in 187 total games at Rice.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.