MLB Quick Hits: Nats’ Rendon iffy for Opening Day

Rendon batted .287 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI, 111 runs and 17 stolen bases last season.

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Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon sprained the MCL in his left knee on March 9, and while he’s getting better, the recovery is slow enough that he might not be ready for Opening Day. CSNWashington.com says Rendon’s chances of playing on April 6 are "slim at best," while the Nats’ website says it’s a "possibility" that Rendon won’t be ready. The Nats are being extra careful with Rendon, and any absence to start the season is likely to be brief. Will the injury linger, and affect his stolen-base ability? I’m not sure, but based on what we know now, I’m not moving him down on my fantasy draftboard.

MLB & Fantasy News and Notes

In other news …

CSNWashington.com also reports that Nats OF Jayson Werth (shoulder) played five innings of a minor-league game on Wednesday, and might be ready for the season opener. I will own Werth in approximately 104 percent of my fantasy leagues this year.

One Dodgers beat writer thinks that Hyun-Jin Ryu’s shoulder issue could be a big problem. There’s no structural damage in the shoulder, and the current course of action is two weeks of rest, with a reassessment after that.

Alex Rodriguez is on target to be the Yankees’ regular DH.

Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (back spasms) is due to return to the lineup today after a one-week absence.

Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo (triceps) is scheduled to return to the lineup today. He’s still not playing the field, though.

It looks like Will Middlebrooks will be the Padres’ Opening Day third baseman.

Yankees OF Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) appears on track to be ready for Opening Day.

Taijuan Walker tossed six scoreless innings on Wednesday, and has been terrific all spring. Remember a year ago, when Walker was considered a top-10 prospect? He’s just 22, you know. And his NFBC ADP is SP68.

Today’s "Player I Don’t Want" is Pirates OF Gregory Polanco. He’s being drafted as OF34 per the NFBC’s ADP, while I have him at OF45. As with many young players, Polanco appears to have a bright future but an uncertain present. He batted .235 last season after his promotion, and struggled to hit the ball hard. Picking him as an OF3 in 12-team mixed leagues seems a bit too aggressive. Polanco might break out, but he could also platoon some if he struggles again.

Kris Bryant will play left field for the Cubs today. And hit a homer.

A’s closer Sean Doolittle (shoulder) might start playing catch later this week. On Wednesday, Doolittle "pitched a couple of innings … of sock throws," according to manager Bob Melvin. My kids are terrible at sock throwing; they always miss the hamper. (Thank you, thank you … I’ll be here all week.)

Mets RP Bobby Parnell (Tommy John surgery) pitched a scoreless inning in a minor-league game on Wednesday. Parnell hopes to return in May, and manager Terry Collins says that he’ll have the chance to win his job back from Jenrry Mejia. The Mets probably want Parnell to be their closer, so if you can stash him on a bench in any format, you might be happy you did so six weeks from now.

See you back here tomorrow morning.