Anthony Rendon hits in cage, takes grounders

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Anthony Rendon was placed on the disabled list just before the start of the 2015 regular season with a sprained MCL in his left knee and then he strained his left oblique muscle in early May while trying to rehab that knee injury. It’s been a frustrating several weeks for the young budding star, but he is finally beginning to make some significant progress …

Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com reports that Rendon took grounders, did some running, and hit in an indoor batting cage Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park. “It was a good day for him,” said Nationals manager Matt Williams. “We’re glad to have him back here on the road to recovery. Right now we’re trying to get him as healthy as possible.”

Rendon, 24, should be ready at some point in early June if he can avoid further physical setbacks.

He hit .287/.351/.473 with 21 homers, 83 RBI, and 111 runs scored in 153 games last season.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.