MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Infielders get breather to recover from maladies

Rendon dealing with flu, Desmond with lower back tightness

Infielders get breather to recover from maladies

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon and shortstop Ian Desmond were given Wednesday off because of the flu and lower back tightness, respectively.

Rendon has been under the weather for a couple of days, but it got worse Wednesday. Manager Matt Williams decided to give him a day off and place Kevin Frandsen at third. Williams did say Rendon could be available late in the game.

"[Rendon] is quarantined in the back [of the locker room] and sleeping," Williams said.

As for Desmond, he texted Williams and told him that he was ready to play, but Williams gave Desmond the day off and slotted Danny Espinosa at shortstop. Desmond left Tuesday's 6-4 victory over the Braves in the sixth inning because of lower back tightness. The injury is not considered serious.

Desmond started feeling pain in his back before Tuesday's game, but he decided to play through it. By the fourth inning, his back wasn't cooperating and he soon thought it would be better to get out of the game and not create further damage.

"Yeah, I feel better. [The back] kind of just [loosened up], kind of like I expected it to yesterday and it never did. I guess I just needed to take a little more time," Desmond said.

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