Third baseman Anthony Rendon departed the Nationals’ loss to the Marlins on Saturday after taking a 95 mph Jose Urena fastball off the left elbow. Fortunately for Rendon and the Nationals, X-rays came back negative, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post tweets. It’s unclear whether Rendon will avoid the injured list, though, as manager Dave Martinez said the Nats will reevaluate the 28-year-old Sunday morning. An IL stint would be another unlucky development for the Nationals, who are already missing injured shortstop Trea Turner along the left side of their infield. They’ve gone just 9-10 thanks in part to Turner’s absence, though Rendon has tried his best to lift the team with an all-world showing thus far. Rendon’s consistently great output in Washington may help him land a contract extension.
- A hamstring injury forced Cubs left-hander Jon Lester to the IL on April 9, though it appears the well-respected hurler is nearing a return. The Cubs could activate Lester during their upcoming series against the Dodgers, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, the Associated Press relays. The 35-year-old looked “very good” during a 45-pitch sim game Saturday, according to manager Joe Maddon. The Maddon-led Cubs haven’t needed a replacement starter since Lester went down, instead relying on Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and the struggling Yu Darvish, but that will change Sunday when Tyler Chatwood takes the ball against Arizona. Chatwood fell on his face as a starter during a walk-happy 2018, the first season of a three-year, $38MM contract, and has continued to exhibit control problems as a reliever this season.
- The Orioles brought righty Alex Cobb off the IL on Saturday to make his first start since a right lumbar strain sent him to the shelf on April 6. In hindsight, the Orioles probably wish they’d have started someone else. Cobb endured one of the worst outings in his career in a loss to the Twins, who thrashed him for nine earned runs on 10 hits and three homers in 2 2/3 frames. It continued a subpar Orioles tenure for Cobb, now in the second season of a four-year, $57MM contract. The rebuilding Orioles would likely jump at the chance to deal him, but Cobb’s ongoing woes won’t make it easy to find a taker.
- The Angels are off to a dreary start, in part because their rotation is banged up yet again. Oft-injured starters Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano are making progress, though, per reports from Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register and Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Skaggs, on the IL since April 15 because of a left ankle sprain, enjoyed a productive bullpen session Saturday and may return as early as Tuesday. Heaney’s still a ways off because of elbow issues, though he could get back on a mound within the next week, Fletcher writes, and manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday his rehab has been “all positive so far.” Tropeano, who’s on the mend from a right shoulder strain, threw a four-inning sim game Saturday and is nearing activation. The Angels will option Tropeano to Triple-A Salt Lake when he does exit the IL, Bollinger suggests.