When new Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams talked to reporters on Saturday, he said Jayson Werth would be in the lineup on Sunday, making his 2014 Grapefruit League debut against the Miami Marlins in the Nats' third game of the spring. "Everything is okay with Jayson," Williams said when a reporter asked when Werth would get in a game. "He's scheduled to play tomorrow."
Williams was clear that there were no concerns about his right fielder, who put up a .318/.398/.532 line in a +4.6 fWAR campaign in which he hit 24 doubles and 25 HRs in 129 games and 532 plate appearances. "He's right on schedule," Williams said. "No variation to his schedule."
Werth, 34, was pencilled in, hitting third and playing right field when the lineup was released early this morning, but an hour or so beforehand the veteran outfielder was scratched. No explanation was given before today's game.
After the Nationals' win over the Marlins, Williams told reporters that the reason for the late scratch was a right bicep strain that will sideline Werth for just one or two days.
"Yesterday he was working out and had a little bit of a strain of his bicep," Williams said. "So it's just precautionary. He's a little tight in there just from working out a little bit, so we're going to push him a day or two to make sure. But he's fine. No worries, it's just precautionary."
"He's fine," the Nats' manager explained. "Just making sure. He was in there today and just came in a little bit tight today and so we said, 'Listen. You've got plenty of time.'"
Williams also revealed that Bryce Harper was dealing with "flu-like symptoms" when he arrived at the park this morning, though he had a scheduled day off anyway.
"He had a little bit of a stomach issue, so we got him out of here," Williams said, to make sure it didn't spread around.