The Nationals’ Kevin Frandsen says Anthony Rendon is “the best young guy we have”

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Anthony Rendon is having a fantastic season so far. No doubt about that.

Nats’ utility guy Kevin Frandsen was on the D.C. radio show Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan this morning, and they asked him, of all the players on the team, who’s impressed him the most. Listen to who he mentioned as “the best young guy we have”

“Rendon,” Frandsen said. “Without a doubt.”

“He is as impressive as any young player; in all honesty, he’s the best young guy we have. By far,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anyone in the same sentence as him, as far as young guys.”

The hosts asked him specifically if he’s saying Rendon was better than Bryce Harper. This is the point in these kinds of interviews where the teammate will equivocate or talk about how it’s hard to choose or say they’re both awesome or something. But Frandsen stuck to his guns:

“Absolutely,” Frandsen said. “I would say that, because, this is a personal opinion, and watching it, and Tony, ah man, that is one of the coolest swings I’ve seen. And especially for, what is he, 23, 24-years-old?

“To be that consistent, to stay inside the baseball as consistently as he can, and to have that much pop. I don’t know how much the outside knows, but he hits balls farther than most people on the team. But he is so good, as far as staying inside and staying within himself, that just impresses me.

“And then moving from second to third, third back to second, second back to third, unbelievable. And his attitude, whether it’s a four-hit game, or 0-for-4, which rarely happens, it’s the same; it’s consistent; it’s just someone that you just enjoy watching all the time.”

Not a word about Harper. This a week after Tom Boswell — who reliably channels the messages of the Nationals front office — said that Harper may bt the Nats’ seventh best player and who said he’d be hard pressed to pick Harper over Rendon going forward.

Interesting.

A.J. Hinch responds to Ken Giles’ negative comments about Astros

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On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:

I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.

While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”

Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.

At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.