Rendon “looks good” physically after two games for GCL Nats, plus Purke update

Anthony Rendon has returned to playing baseball again. Now with the Gulf Coast league Nationals, he has played two games with no complications from his rehabbing ankle.

On Thursday, he played three innings and went 0-for-2 with no defensive touches.

Friday, he played seven innings and went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. His two-run double was to left field in the top of the fourth. He was called out on strikes and had a swinging strikeout in his first two at-bats. He popped out to second base in the sixth for his final at-bat.

These two outings have been his first official games since April 7.

Doug Harris, Nationals director of player development, said they are taking their time with Rendon as he returns from the fractured left ankle.

“We will build him up incrementally, increasing the defensive reps and at-bats on a daily progression to the point where, barring any setbacks, (he can) go out and compete on a daily basis,” Harris said.

He also said there is no timetable for his return to high Single-A Potomac or any other affiliate right now, but he has been impressed with how Rendon looks and is confident he will be able to continue his current rehab.

“The (reports) were good,” Harris said. “He has been swinging the bat well in BP. He has done some sim games. I was down there a couple of weeks ago and saw him run, and he ran well. Physically, he looks very good.”

Harris said there is no hurry with Rendon, and they want to take a measured pace to his progression.

“(We will) continue to build his defensive volume and ramp up the at-bats a little bit to the point where he is free to go,” Harris said.

Harris also had an update on the status of left-hander Matt Purke, who has not pitched since June 10 because of shoulder soreness.

“He is doing well,” Harris reported. “We are really ramping up the physical part for him at this point, continuing to build a great foundation for him physically and go from there.”

Purke went 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in three starts for low Single-A Hagerstown in 15 1/3 innings.

He allowed 15 hits, 10 runs and 12 walks and struck out 14 batters in that span.

There is no schedule for surgery or anything of that nature. The team is trying to work on strengthening Purke’s shoulder and concentrating on his delivery.

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