Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon remains out of action with a sprained ligament in his left knee more than a week after what the team initially believed would be a 2-3 day injury.
Rendon suffered the sprained MCL on March 9 while attempting to make a diving play at third base and manager Matt Williams indicated that there’s no timetable yet for his return, telling Bill Ladson of MLB.com:
He has a little sprain in there so we are being cautious, keeping in mind that he is going to need at-bats. You do run out of time eventually.
Even hinting at running out of time before Opening Day arrives certainly suggests a more serious issue. Rendon is hugely important to the Nationals both offensively and defensively, and the team will already be without center fielder Denard Span and left fielder Jayson Werth early on.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).