The Baseball Page: April 28, 2013

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Sports,MLB,Nationals,Brian McNally

Nationals report

Rendon arrives in Washington

The Nationals promoted top prospect Anthony Rendon to the majors to replace the bat of injured third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is out with a hamstring strain. The move hasn't quite worked out like last year's promotion of Bryce Harper under similar circumstances. Rendon started out 2-for-15 after his promotion from Double-A Harrisburg last Sunday and saw Washington lose all four games he appeared in before manager Davey Johnson benched him.

That move wasn't so much to punish Rendon. But it was pretty obvious that the Nats' offense needed some life and Johnson instead put Steve Lombardozzi, his super utility infielder, at third base on Thursday and Friday. The hope was Lombardozzi could serve as a table-setter for the power hitters lower in the order. Rendon is supposed to be one of those. But the sixth pick in the 2011 draft isn't yet up to the task of being a No. 2 hitter in a struggling lineup. The move worked on Thursday at least, as Washington scored eight runs in a win over Cincinnati. Rendon is probably better off continuing his development in the minors, especially since he can't displace Zimmerman at third base and he hasn't yet begun playing another position.

MLB Storylines

1

Blue Jays injuries » The trade was a good one on paper. The Toronto Blue Jays essentially stole pitchers Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and shortstop Jose Reyes from the Miami Marlins, who were looking to shed salary after a terrible 2012 season. Not even 25 games into the new season, Toronto already has lost Reyes to a serious ankle injury and had to scratch Johnson from his scheduled start on Friday thanks to a sore right triceps muscle. Johnson had a 6.86 ERA through four starts, and the team labeled the move precautionary. No surprise then that the Blue Jays sit in last place in the A.L. East.

2

Olympics »

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told Associated Press editors this week that he absolutely wouldn't push to have the league shut down in July or August during a year with the Summer Olympics. Teams are reluctant to lose players and worry about injuries, plus the season would either start too early or end too late with a delay. That will likely hamper attempts by baseball and softball officials to have those sports reinstated into the Olympics. Both were dropped after the 2008 Games in Beijing. The IOC board meets next month to consider adding sports again for 2020.

3Brew Crew »

Even with two teams that have made the playoffs over the last five years, the Milwaukee Brewers hadn't won nine games in a row since 2003. They ran a winning streak to nine games this week to climb back into the NL Central race after an ugly 2-8 start to the season. Shortstop Jean Segura is leading the way. He entered Saturday best on the team in batting average, on-base percentage and hits. The 23-year-old hit .264 in 44 games with the Brewers last season. They acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels as the centerpiece prospect in a trade for ace pitcher Zack Greinke last summer.

-Brian McNally

Who's hot?

1. David Ortiz » The Red Sox DH entered Saturday 12-for-24 at the plate since returning from injury.

2. Bartolo Colon » The veteran A's righty has struck out 17 and walked only one batter in four starts.

3. Nelson Cruz » The Rangers slugger picked up 13 RBIs in a six-game stretch this week.

Who's not?

1. David Price » The Rays are 0-5 when their ace pitches, and his ERA sits at 5.52.

2. Jarrod Parker » A sophomore slump is slowing the A's youngster: 0-4 record, 8.10 ERA.

3. Carlos Gonzalez » After a scorching start, just three hits in 29 at-bats entering Friday for the Rockies outfielder.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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Brian McNally

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner