Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his left knee, but for now at least the team insists it’s a minor injury that will only sideline him for a few days.
Of course, already this spring we’ve seen plenty of “minor” injuries across baseball quickly prove to be very serious and the Nationals have a lot of banged up position players right now led by Denard Span and his 4-6 recovery timetable for core muscle surgery.
Rendon was one of the best all-around players in the league last season as a 24-year-old in his first full MLB campaign, hitting .287 with 21 homers and an .824 OPS while taking over for Ryan Zimmerman as the starting third baseman.
He was injured on a diving play during Monday’s game.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.