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Anthony Rendon being promoted to Triple-A, will see playing time at second base

Jun 1, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT

Anthony Rendon Getty Getty Images

With Danny Espinosa hurting due to a small fracture in his wrist, here’s an interesting situation to monitor with the Nationals.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has confirmed reports that top prospect Anthony Rendon will be promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Syracuse. The interesting wrinkle here is that the plan calls for him to mostly play second base.

Rendon had his first taste of the majors earlier this year when Ryan Zimmerman was on the disabled list and batted .240 (6-for-25) in eight games. While the 22-year-old has missed some time recently after having his wisdom teeth extracted, he is batting .338/.460/.676 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 19 games since being sent back down the minors. His natural position is third base, but the Nationals are clearly preparing him in case Espinosa’s wrist continues to be an issue.

  1. recoveringcubsfan - Jun 1, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    It’s about time. They have to do something, between Zimmerman making the kinds of errors at 3B that are the stuff of nightmares (and have cost the Nats at least 2 games this year) and Espinosa somehow, inexplicably refusing to report his broken wrist while also playing through a torn labrum…something had to be done. But this is tricky; Steve Lombardozzi is already on the 25-man roster and he’s played very well the last year+ whenever they’ve given him some ABs. He’s a pretty good 2B too. Rendon looked good in his callup, made some slick fielding plays at 3B, but he doesn’t have Zim’s size and at this moment in time he’s more suited to 2B.

    Pulling back a bit, the Nats need to sort out their bench situation anyway. No need to carry 2 extra OF in Moore and Bernadina once Werth is back, and Chad Tracy has been a total zero as a PH. Lombo is a switch-hitter and can also play 3B and LF, so he stays. But with Kobernus also up and deserving of some pt at 2B or LF, if Rendon forces his way into the bigs again then the Nats have a good problem, but also a big one.

    I still think they ought to DL Espinosa and force him to get surgery for the shoulder. If it keeps him out all year, then others can step up, obviously. A healthy Danny in spring training next year is worth more than the version in the dugout right now.

    • paytonsneck18 - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Excellent analysis and I agree with the majority of it. But I believe the Espinosa problem is bigger than injuries. He has 0 plate discipline, can’t hit righties, and will get jammed and pop up any inside fastball thrown his way. He has continually regressed since his call up in 2010 — he can’t hack it as a major league regular notwithstanding his above average but overrated defense at 2B. Hopefully this move signals that Rizzo is getting over his own arrogance and realizing he needs to move on at 2B. Even if Rendon takes awhile to adjust at 2nd, its a mortal lock that his offense will result in him delivering more value to this team than Espi this year so its worth it to call him ASAP and let him get the experience in DC instead of Syracuse.

      • mazblast - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        That’s asking a youngster to adapt to the majors AND learn an unfamiliar position at the same time. Not many guys can do that (OK, Miguel Cabrera did it in 2003, but he’s the exception rather than the rule, plus he was going to the OF, which isn’t as tough). Let Rendon get acclimated to both AAA and 2B for a month or so, then bring him up; meanwhile, hope Lombardozzi can prove up to the task. By that time, the Espinosa situation should be resolved.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        I agree with most of both of these comments. Maz, Lombardozzi can definitely hack it at second and he makes a better #2 hitter than Werth, when he comes back. I saw that Rendon took some reps at 2B in spring training, so maybe his progress will be faster than someone making a first-time switch.

        I have a soft spot for Danny Espinosa (and I swear, I’m not a Rizzo alias!), but I also don’t see his hitting getting any better. It’s a real shame that a guy with 20 HR power and a great arm like his can’t learn to just make contact on anything other than a low fastball.

  2. melkipershero - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    My fantasy team thanks you. I hope he gets 2b elgibility.

  3. bigmeechy74 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I think it’s ridiculous how teams wait until it’s too late to address problems. What the hell have they been waiting on? If he is their best option he shouldve been up a month ago. The rays always do this too. They just leave their best players in the minors and trot out guys like sam fuld and the artist formerly known as fausto carmona

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