Rendon’s elbow was still stiff and sore when he arrived to the ballpark Sunday morning, but manager Dave Martinez had already informed him the previous night he was not going start Sunday. Rendon is expected to receive treatment throughout the day and be re-evaluated from there.
“We don’t want to push it,” Martinez said. “We just want to get him right.”
It leaves the Nationals hoping to fend off a sweep by the Marlins without their most productive hitter. In 19 games this season, Rendon owns a 1.223 OPS with six home runs, a Major League leading 10 doubles and he just had a career-best 17-game hitting streak snapped with his early exit Saturday night.
Martinez reiterated his confidence that Rendon would be able to avoid the injured list, but the Nationals are already playing with a short bench. With Howie Kendrick taking over for Rendon at third base, only three position players are definitely available off the bench Sunday -- first baseman Matt Adams, catcher Yan Gomes and outfielder Michael A. Taylor, who would be the team’s emergency infielder if necessary.
Washington has been carrying an extra arm to try and aid its struggling bullpen, but if Rendon’s absence is going to last a couple days, the Nats may have to call up another position player who can play the infield.
“We’ll see,” Martinez said. “[Rendon] says he feels better than he did after last night, but we knew he’d be stiff. He’s going to get treatment all day today and we’ll see where he’s at after.”
Robles back in lineup after wall collision
Victor Robles did not have any lingering effects Sunday morning from his collision with the center field wall in the sixth inning of Saturday night’s 9-3 loss. Robles covered 84 feet in 5.2 seconds while chasing down a fly ball from Curtis Granderson, in what Statcast rated as a 45 percent catch probability.
However, he hit the wall hard and fell to the ground on impact, allowing Rosell Herrera to score from second base on a sacrifice fly. Martinez and head athletic trainer Paul Lessard went out to check on Robles following the collision, but Robles remained in the game and told Martinez Sunday morning at the team hotel that he was good to go.
“He’s a strong kid,” Martinez said. “He’s a brick, he really is. Sometimes you worry about the wall, that’s how strong the kid is”
Umps hold annual charity auction
More than 400 items, including memorabilia, unique baseball experiences and VIP packages are currently up for grabs as Major League Baseball umpires host their 11th Annual UMPS CARE online auction. The auction began Friday at mlb.com/umpscare and will run through Monday April 29 at 10 p.m. ET.
Fans of the Nationals can bid on two separate items in conjunction with the team. The first package offers dinner and a ballgame -- with tickets to a game at Nationals Park and a $150 gift card to Salt Line, a restaurant next door to the stadium. The second package includes a Nationals batting practice experience and four tickets to a game.
But there are plenty of other items and memorabilia for fans to bid on, including signed jerseys, baseballs and bats from some of the game’s biggest stars. Baseballs signed by Nolan Arenado, Miguel Cabrera or Jacob deGrom; one of Lorenzo Cain’s cleats or a bat from Jose Abreu are all available. There are items from other athletes and celebrities as well, such as a signed baseball from Will Ferrell, a signed Cowboys jersey from Tony Romo or baseball from Bubba Watson.
All proceeds from the auction support UMPS CARE Charities’ youth programs, which connects children and families in the communities where umpires work. The organization provides baseball experiences for critically ill kids, at-risk youth and military families.
“The online auction is one of the biggest fundraising initiatives for UMPS CARE Charities and has grown tremendously since our first auction in 2009,” Gary Darling, a former Major League umpire for three decades and now the board president for UMPS CARE Charities, said in a statement. “The auction has something for everyone, from autographed memorabilia to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so we encourage fans to tell all of their friends and family to check out the available items on MLB.com and bid generously to help support a great cause.”