Bill Ladson

Rendon dealing with minor swelling in left knee

Third baseman day to day; McLouth makes spring debut

Rendon dealing with minor swelling in left knee

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon was scheduled to hit leadoff against the Tigers on Wednesday before being scratched because of swelling in his left knee. The injury is not considered serious.

Rendon injured the knee while making a great diving play against the Braves on Monday.

"It's purely precautionary. He worked through his day yesterday but was a little bit sore," manager Matt Williams said. "It's on the inside of his knee. He took a pretty hard dive out there on the infield. The infield is hard. There is no issue other than it's bruised. He will be good to go in a day or so."

The Nationals also received some good news on the injury front. Outfielder Nate McLouth made his first Major League spring appearance on Wednesday in a designated-hitter role and went 1-for-2. He also will play against the Mets on Thursday. McLouth missed the last two months of 2014 because of a right shoulder injury.

"Swinging wise, there is no pain whatsoever," McLouth said.

McLouth is still in a throwing program, but the team hopes he can play defense by next week. Right now, McLouth is long tossing, but can only throw on an arch. He is hoping to throw on a straight line soon.

"The next step is kind of start bringing the arch down and throwing on a line and go from there," McLouth said.

Outfield Jayson Werth (shoulder) participated in light tossing and swung the bat on Wednesday, according to Williams. Werth is hoping to be ready by Opening Day.

"He is a little bit -- by design -- sore because we are stepping him up, but nothing out of the ordinary. So he was good," Williams said. "He is ready to go again tomorrow."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.