Rendon’s Latest Injury Much Ado about Nothing
In case you missed the Newsfeed yesterday, the Washington Nationals placed 2011 first round pick Anthony Rendon on the 7-day minor league disabled list with what has been described as a “partial fracture” in his left ankle.
Those of us who follow prospects and minor leaguers know this isn’t the first time Rendon has dealt with an injury.
Unfortunately for him, It’s not the second or third time, either. As a freshman at Rice University, Rendon suffered an injury to his right ankle during the NCAA Super Regionals game that ended up requiring surgery. He suffered a much more severe injury to the same ankle after his sophomore season while playing for Team USA in a World Cup game against South Korea, and spent much of his final college season as the designated hitter after suffering a non-structural injury to his right shoulder during an early season workout.
Thankfully, this injury is to his “good” ankle, and, according to Nats’ General Manager Mike Rizzo, “The doctors tell me that his season in not in jeopardy. The slight fracture probably heals quicker and cleaner than a bad sprain.”
As someone who suffered several ankle injuries during his own playing career, I can tell you that statement is true. A sprain actually is a tearing of the ligaments in the ankle, and if you’re not careful you can end up doing some pretty significant damage, whereas once a bone is broken, that’s it. As long as you immobolize it and at least give it a few days for the healing process to start, you really can’t do any more damage to the area.
Rendon suffered the injury last Saturday rounding third base, trying to score on a single by teammate Justin Bloxom, and was immediately helped off the field by the P-Nats’ training staff. After allowing the swelling to subside for a few days, X-Rays taken on Wednesday revealed a small fracture to one of the small bones in the ankle. Rendon was placed in a walking boot, and according to Rizzo, “will see a foot specialist on Friday to determine the next step.”
As news of the injury started to come out, social media sites and various blog posts were in the “I told you so” vein, believing Rendon’s history of injuries to his feet are of the chronic nature and that he will never be completely healthy.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
Sure, on the surface it may seem unusual to have this type of injury history, but when looking at the circumstances, they all occured while running the bases, when you’re simultaneously moving at full speed and changing directions. From here, all it takes would be to hit the bag wrong on the turn, or catch a spike mark or soft spot in the dirt to end up wearing a boot.
The kid’s played thirteen innings as a pro, and is learning a new position on top of everything else. He’s a legitimate prospect wherever he plays, and while he doesn’t come with the hype of fellow number one Bryce Harper, I believe when it’s all said and done Rendon will have had the better major league career.
Harper missed three weeks at the end of last season after straining a hamstring..running the bases, and it barely registered within the media.
Hamstring, ankle, apples, oranges.
In the long run, Rendon might end up missing a week or two, it doesn’t mean he’s the next Steve Chilcott.