Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon will continue his rehab from a fractured left ankle and start at third base tonight for the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays.
Doubledays manager Gary Cathcart said Rendon will also serve as the designated hitter for some games and have some days off. Rendon is expected to be with the Doubledays for at least one week, but it could be longer.
With the GCL Nats, Rendon played three, five or seven innings as they slowly ramped him up. He never got more than four at-bats in a game.
"It is a progression of innings getting up to nine," Cathcart said. "We are trying to get him to have no setbacks. He hasn't been able to stay on the field here since we have had him for a year. We are trying to get him healthy. His schedule might be a little bit more careful than some of the other (rehab) schedules."
The Nationals will be more careful with Rendon because of the severity of the ankle injury. Normally, you want to speed up recovery for players on rehab to get them back to their club as soon as possible. That is not the case with Rendon. The club will be evaluating his progress daily and working off of each game rather than hurrying him back.
Position players on the 40-man roster have 20 days to complete their rehab while pitchers get 30 days. Rendon has already played five games for the Gulf Coast league Nationals from July 19, so he would have to be reinstated to (most likely) high Single-A Potomac by Aug. 9. The Doubledays have 14 games scheduled in that time frame, beginning tonight.
The P-Nats arrive home from a road trip for five games beginning Aug. 10. That would be a seamless transition point for the talented third baseman.