Matt Williams on Anthony Rendon’s knee injury: “You do run out of time eventually”

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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.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.