ATLANTA — Anthony Rendon was scratched from the lineup at Class AA Harrisburg on Monday after feeling fatigued during afternoon workouts, the Nationals said, a hiccup in the infielder’s rehab from a sprained left knee.
Rendon was scheduled to play 7-to-9 innings at second base and bat third for the Senators but was pulled out of the lineup about an hour before first pitch. The Nationals elected to give him the day off as a precaution.
The scratching came after Rendon had taken a scheduled day off Sunday following his first two games on rehab assignment. He had played five innings at third base on Friday and seven innings at second base on Saturday, reporting no issues with his knee.
The 24-year-old reigning Silver Slugger Award winner has been out since spraining his MCL on a diving play at third base during an early May spring training game.
The Nationals had laid out a rehab schedule that would’ve seen Rendon play nine innings Tuesday, then take Wednesday off and potentially join the big-league club in New York on Thursday to make his season debut. That debut now likely will be delayed at least another day, possibly more.
Once he does return, Rendon won’t exclusively play third base, even though that was the Nationals’ intention heading into spring training. With Yunel Escobar looking more comfortable at third base than second base over the last three weeks, Rendon will get time at second in big-league games.
“He’s going to play some second when he returns, some third when he returns,” manager Matt Williams said. “We want to make sure he’s getting work at both places. He’s played third a lot up until now. We want to get him some reps [at second base], too, so he can get a feel for it. I’m just concerned about him being healthy.”
Some sports beef just never go away.
On Monday, former Chicago White Sox teammates Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier had to be separated during the third inning of the New York Mets 5-3 victory over the Nationals. The two have never liked each other, and their beef with one another extends as far back as 2016.
D.C. Sports Live's Julia Donaldson and Travis Thomas discuss what other teammate beefs in recent memory compare with the saga between Eaton and Frazier.
Donaldson initially brought up the beef between former Pittsburgh Steelers teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. The two were very critical of each other vocally to the media throughout their final season together in Pittsburgh. Their relationship reached a point of no repair, as the Steelers shipped their All-Pro receiver to the Oakland Raiders in March.
For Thomas, the first teammate beef that came to mind was the incident between former Nationals teammates Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon. It's hard to forget the image of Papelbon choking out Harper for not hustling and running out the bases.
Sticking with baseball, another teammate beef from recent memory is the everlasting dislike between Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants. The two were teammates from 1997-2002, and their dislike for another was very much in the public eye. Their hatred for another reached a peak in June 2002, when the two of them had to be separated from another, and Kent publicly said he wanted to leave the team. He was then dealt to Houston in the offseason.
Other former teammate sports beefs that come to mind are Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal when they were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers. The two stars both wanted to be the clear main No. 1 option, which led the Lakers to trade Shaq to the Miami Heat. The trade ended up working out for both parties, as O'Neal won a championship in Miami, while Bryant led the Lakers to two more championships in 2009 and 2010.
What other teammate sports beefs come to mind?
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The Washington Nationals have every intention of trying to reach a long-term deal with Anthony Rendon, GM Mike Rizzo said, looking to quell concern after a report Tuesday that he may be on his way out after the 2019 season.
"Anthony Rendon is a guy that we drafted, developed, signed and watch turn into a star in front of our eyes," Rizzo said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday. "He’s a guy that we’d like to have long-term. We’re certainly going to be aggressive and try to make that happen and hopefully, it will."
Nationals fans are growing anxious after the front office couldn't get a deal done with Bryce Harper, hoping a repeat wouldn't happen with Rendon who has had a breakout career with the Nats.
"We have shown that we’re not afraid to sign our own players, we’re not afraid to sign free agent players, and we’re not afraid to spend money on stars of the game and I don’t think Anthony Rendon would be any different," Rizzo said.
Grant Paulsen said on Tuesday on 106.7 The Fan's "Grant and Danny Show," that he believes the Nationals have missed their opportunity to re-sign Rendon.
"Here's something I heard from someone who recently talked to Scott Boras," Paulsen said. "Apparently, he told that person that the Nationals already missed the boat on getting a deal done with Anthony Rendon."
Rizzo and the Nationals have already offered Rendon a contract extension in late March, to which he turned down. Since then, nothing has come to fruition.
"It also takes two to get a deal done," Rizzo said. "We're aggressively trying to sign Anthony Rendon. We’d love to have him here as a National long-term.”
The Nationals look to bounce back after two straight losses to the New York Mets tonight at 7:10 p.m.
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