In wake of placing Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list, the Washington Nationals have called up top prospect Anthony Rendon to take over at the hot corner. Chad Tracy had been filling in over the last few games.
Zimmerman has missed the last few games dealing with an apparent hamstring injury. The fact that Zimmerman is injured may shed some light on his the reason behind his recent struggles on defense, however Zimmerman insisted that the mistakes have all been mental.
While Zimmerman has been invaluable to the Nationals since 2005, it’s certainly exciting to see Rendon get a shot. Many have drawn parallels from Rendon to fellow Nationals player Bryce Harper, who also received his call to the big leagues in late April because of a Ryan Zimmerman injury.
Rendon has hit .292 at AA Harrisburg this season, with an impressive .462 on-base percentage and 14 walks in 14 games, so it seems like he’ll be able to handle himself at the big-league level. Rendon was selected by Washington sixth overall in the 2011 amateur draft, and is by far the best pure hitter in the Nationals farm system.
The only potential downside to calling Rendon up is if he performs and creates a logjam at third base. While it’d be a good problem to have, Ryan Zimmerman has had a bad year defensively at the hot corner, so if Rendon is solid on defense and performs at the plate as well, it’d be slightly hard to justify demoting him again. But, that’s a problem we can address when Zimmerman returns from the disabled list. For now, let’s sit back and enjoy the show. Rendon will get the start at third base today, and bat sixth in the lineup behind Ian Desmond. Desmond, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche have all moved up one place from their usual lineup spots to help compensate for the Zimmerman injury. The Nationals take on the Mets at 1:10 EST as Jordan Zimmermann looks to advance to 4-0 on the year and the Nationals look to take two out of three from New York.