Anthony Rendon’s first attempt at a minor league rehab assignment was halted about a month ago due to an oblique strain, but Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he returned to game action last night with Double-A Harrisburg.
Rendon, who has been sidelined since early on in spring training with a sprained MCL in his left knee, went 1-for-4 with a single and three strikeouts and played seven innings at second base. The Nationals figure to play it safe with him after his previous setback, but there’s optimism that he could finally be ready to make his season debut at some point next week.
Rendon was the Nationals’ most valuable player last season, batting .287/.351/.473 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI, and 17 steals while splitting his time between second base and third base. He’s expected to play both positions during his rehab assignment, but it looks like he’ll play second base upon his return while Yunel Escobar will remain at third.
The Rockies fell 9-6 to the Orioles on Saturday, but the loss wasn’t without its bright spots. Case in point: Third baseman Nolan Arenado passed a significant career milestone on an Andrew Cashner fastball in the third inning, slugging the ball a projected 394 feet into the left field stands for his 200th career home run.
Arenado is the 34th active player to join the 200+ homer club and the first to do so since the Braves’ Freddie Freeman crossed that threshold on May 19. The three-run shot was the infielder’s 14th of the season and third since Friday, when he went deep twice against Orioles rookie John Means and reliever Shawn Armstrong. Following Saturday’s performance, he’s batting a robust .333/.377/.632 with 30 extra-base hits, 42 RBI, and a 1.009 OPS through 220 plate appearances.
He isn’t the only Rockies slugger making history, either. Arenado’s feat trailed that of Trevor Story, who clobbered an 0-2 pitch from Armstrong during the seventh inning of Friday’s 8-6 win. The two-run blast was his 100th home run in 448 career games, making him the fastest shortstop to reach the mark in MLB history.
The Rockies will vie for the series win as they round out the series on Sunday, with right-hander German Márquez scheduled to take the bump against fellow righty David Hess at 3:10 PM EDT.