Rendon schedule heats up through weekend

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon's rehab from a fractured left ankle is gaining momentum, and this week will become a bigger test for the young third baseman to see how the injury reacts to sustained play in the field.

Short-season Single-A Auburn manager Gary Cathcart confirmed that Rendon will play six innings tonight and Thursday morning at third base. He will be the designated hitter Friday. Then, on Saturday, Rendon is scheduled to play a full nine innings at third base for the first time this season for Auburn.

Cathcart said he really wants to see how Rendon's ankle reacts to 21 innings in the field and 30 innings of play in a four-day timespan. Rendon's strength, quickness, footwork and agility will be monitored as the biggest test of his 20-day rehab regimen. This will be the first time he has played four days in a row in a minor league game since early April.

The hope is Rendon will show the ankle is fine. And if that is the case, there is a good chance that Rendon could be back with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals as early as the week of Aug. 6.

Meanwhile, Auburn first baseman Shawn Pleffner is back from a wrist injury and that is good news, because the Washington, D.C., native was raking the ball before having to sit for a couple weeks. Pleffner hit .310 with 12 doubles, one triple, one homer and 15 RBI in 27 games through July 18.

Doubledays shortstop Stephen Perez is dealing with a shoulder issue, and has been out since July 28. Perez has hit .231 with five doubles, two triples, one homer and 12 RBI in 21 games for the Doubledays.

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