Rendon doesn’t play second base yet

This is, of course, an obvious statement. The Nats third-base prospect, currently with AA Harrisburg, doesn’t play second base yet. He didn’t play second base as a collegiate ballplayer at Rice. And, although the Nats intend to have him take reps at second base and shortstop, that’s not the same as playing second base.

Why am I wasting your time repeating the obvious?

Because the Nats played awful infield defense in this weekend’s series with the Reds. Ian Desmond was charged with a staggering six errors. Chad Tracy had another.

The vagaries of the rulebook meant that Danny Espinosa escaped without an error–but is still largely responsible for the margin of defeat in Sunday’s loss, when, in the sixth inning, he chose to launch a wayward throw that failed to get the runner coming home. A run scored, leaving two runners on with no outs recorded–both of whom subsequently scored, too. That goes as a fielder’s choice in the scorebook, and it’s a terrible choice, but it’s not an error.

All these misadventures, and more, were enough to get the “CALL UP RENDON NOW” brigade active on twitter.

To whom I have this to say: you mean to tell me that, to fix a series where the main problem was lousy infield defense, you want to call up a young player with extremely limited experience playing precisely the infield positions (shortstop, second base) were all the bad defense was happening?

Wait, what?

Anthony Rendon is a talented player, and, if reports are to believed, a fine third baseman. He may yet become a second baseman or a shortstop. He is not yet that–and, until he is, you’ve got to hope that the current middle infield of Desmond and Espinosa shrug off this weekend’s performance and regain their usual defensive form.

4 thoughts on “Rendon doesn’t play second base yet

  1. Amen. The Confirmation Bias with these players is ridiculous. Everyone sees exactly what they want to see in Desi and Espi, and project what they want to see in the blank slate that is Rendon.

    Ignoring, also, the very real questions of who goes down if Rendon comes up for something other than an injury. I’m not down on Espinosa’s choice as you (if a player thinks he can make a play he should give it a try. It just didn’t work out), but Desi does need to shake off whatever is going on with him. Chad Tracy played like Chad Tracy so that gets fixed w/the return of LaRoche.

    Making policy decisions based on such a barfy weekend as this one seems to overstate the problem greatly.

    • It is a terrible choice. With two outs and the bases empty, you give a laboring Strasburg a chance to get out of the inning with a strikeout or an easy ground ball. Instead, you had a run scored, no outs, and the best part of the Reds line-up batting with runners on.

      Gunning down the runner at the plate would have been spectacular–but only if everything had gone perfectly. I would rather be unspectacular in victory than glorious in defeat.

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