The Nationals' season has not gone smoothly through their first 13 games. A team that many have predicted to take the title in 2015 are just 6-7, which is good for third in the National League East. They have yet to trot out their completely healthy lineup this season, but just a few hours ago, received a couple updates on some injured players.
Yunel Escobar returns to the lineup
Escobar injured his groin running to first in the fourth inning of a game on April 17th. While the Nationals sent him for an MRI and were considering a DL stint just three days ago, Escobar is back in the lineup for tonight's contest against the Cardinals.
Escobar has taken over third base, playing all of his eleven games at that position. He'll remain the everyday starter until teammate Anthony Rendon is healthy .
Rendon plays in rehab game
The Nationals received good news with regard to their All-Star third baseman earlier today and his sprained left MCL, as Rendon saw some live game action.
Rendon played 3 inn at 3B in Viera today. Will play 5 inn tomorrow, start rehab assignment Friday. That's a significant step for him.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) April 21, 2015
Zuckerman goes on to point out that while Jayson Werth and Denard Span required just three games before being activated, Rendon will likely need more time. His return may bump Escobar back to super-utility duty, or perhaps second base if the Dan Uggla/Danny Espinosa experiment doesn't pan out.
Craig Stammen set for surgery
While it was all but assured earlier last week, Stammen is now officially set for surgery, likely ending his season.
Stammen having surgery Sunday here in DC. Timetable for rehab depends on what exactly they find in there. But he said ligament is 100%.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) April 17, 2015
There's a small chance that Stammen could return, as the surgeons won't know exactly how bad the tear is until they're physically doing the surgery. The most likely result, however, is that he will not pitch in 2015, leaving the Nationals without one of their most reliable relievers since 2012. Washington's bullpen as a whole has been inconsistent, and losing Stammen for the entire season is an unfortunate blow.