MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Rendon to seek third opinion on MCL sprain

Escobar getting chance as replacement for third base

Rendon to seek third opinion on MCL sprain

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon saw Dr. James Andrews on Monday, and the doctor confirmed that Rendon has a MCL sprain in his left knee.

Rendon is expected to see Dr. Steven Singleton from in Vail, Colo., on Tuesday to get a third opinion on the knee. According to manager Matt Williams, this is Rendon's choice to get a third opinion.

Although Rendon is not expected to be on the Opening Day roster, it's not known how much time he would miss.

"Everybody is different. Depending on what sport you play and [what kind of stress is] on that ligament is. Everybody is different," Williams said. "We have to make sure that he is out of pain before he starts his baseball stuff. We'll go from there."

Rendon's diving stop

The Nationals are now on plan C on who will play third base to start the season. It looked like Ian Stewart would platoon with Danny Espinosa at third base. However, Williams announced that Yunel Escobar will get a chance to play third base. In fact, he started at the hot corner against the Mets on Tuesday.

According to Williams, Escobar volunteered to play third base, a position he hasn't played since 2007 when he was with the Braves.

"We had a lot of discussions on it. [Escobar] said, 'Listen, if it makes us a better team with me playing third base, I'm willing to do that.' It's another example of why he is here and the kind of teammate that he is," Williams said. "We'll get a look at him over there. He has played there in the past, not a lot. It's the same side of the diamond he is used you. So he'll get there and play a little bit at third."

The Nationals plan to give Escobar as much playing time as possible at the position during the final few games of Spring Training.

"Depending on what we do the next couple, three days here, we can get him some at second, get him some at third, go from there," Williams said.

With Escobar at third for now, Espinosa is back at second, while Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman remain at short and first, respectively. It could be Washington's best defensive lineup to start the season -- if that's the case. Espinosa is considered a Gold Glove-caliber defender at second.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com 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.