Manager Davey Johnson has been pleasantly surprised how well Anthony Rendon has come along defensively at second base. It was a position Rendon had only played at a handful of times before arriving in D.C.
Johnson noticed Rendon had quick mechanics back in March in Viera, Fla.
"I thought his footwork in the spring when we went through a lot of drills was a lot more advanced than I thought it would be, especially for a corner guy," Johnson said. "He has got good feet and he is a smart kid."
Rendon has rebounded from a dry patch two weeks ago and has put together a modest six-game hit streak. His average is now at .265. Johnson said Rendon has had to counter what advanced scouts have learned about his tendencies and adapt on the fly.
"I think more of the adjustments now for him with all the technology and scouting material you have to make adjustments on how they pitch you," Johnson said. "If they can pitch you one way and get you out then everyone will be doing it. As a young hitter you have to make those adjustments.
"He went through that period where he really struggled, kind of like (Bryce) Harper his first year up. He had a little period in there the way they pitched him he expanded his zone. He was having trouble getting a lot of hits. Then he got it under control, made them throw the ball over and hit the ball well. I think Anthony is the same way."
Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, completed another bullpen session today and Johnson believes if everything checks out he could pitch in a rehab game this weekend.
"If he went through it alright, and I haven't talked to (pitching coach Steve) McCatty, he probably will start somewhere around here on Saturday," Johnson said. "That gives him two days off and then he would start somewhere close."
High Single-A Potomac is home Sunday at 6:05 p.m. against Carolina. Low Single-A Hagerstown is out of town in Lexington and Double-A Harrisburg is at Altoona. Triple-A Syracuse welcomes Pawtucket on Saturday.
P-Nats on Sunday might be the best bet.
Will Ohlendorf then be on track to be activated by August 16?
"We will see how he does, see how he is feeling and make that determination," Johnson cautioned. "Maybe he just goes three innings and then he has to come back and he has to do five. Maybe he feels good enough and goes further and he can come back earlier. We want to get him stretched out so he can at least go five."