Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams told reporters last night that the Nats would wait and see how Jayson Werth felt today before making any decision on whether or not the 35-year-old outfielder would return to the lineup tonight after he sat out of the series opener with the Braves in Atlanta, GA's Turner Field.
"We'll get him going tonight again," Williams said. "He wanted to play today. So we'll see how he feels tomorrow. But I anticipate he'll be okay. But we'll see how he wakes up."
When the lineup was released at around 4:00 PM this afternoon, Werth was back in, playing right and batting third:
Matt W.'s lineup, Sat. @ ATL/G115: Span cf, Rendon 3b, Werth rf, LaRoche 1b, Desmond ss, Harper lf, Ramos c, Cabrera 2b, Roark rhp.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 9, 2014
According to CSN Washington.com's Mark Zuckerman, when Williams spoke to reporters before the second game of three with the Braves, he said that Werth was preparing as if he was going to return to the lineup tonight:
Williams an hour ago on Werth: "He's getting worked on right now. He's going to go swing. As far as I know, everything's OK." Apparently not— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) August 9, 2014
The "apparently not" at the end was a reference to the fact that the Nationals have since updated tonight's lineup and Werth has been scratched:
Matt W.'s new lineup, Sat. @ ATL/G115: Span cf, Cabrera 2b, Rendon 3b, LaRoche 1b, Desmond ss, Harper rf, Ramos c, Frandsen lf, Roark rhp.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 9, 2014
Bryce Harper is in right field now, with Kevin Frandsen starting in left against Braves' right-hander Aaron Harang.
According to several reports tonight, including one by MLB.com's Bill Ladson, it's the shoulder that's bothering Werth right now:
Williams talked this past week about Werth, who was already dealing with a right ankle issue, injuring the right shoulder on an awkward swing.
"It's from swinging," he explained. "He took a funky swing about a week ago and it's been lingering, it's nothing serious, but if we get a chance to get him out of there, we'll do that."
Apparently the shoulder is still a problem for Werth, who earned the NL Player of the Month nod for July and has put up a .286/.358/.386 line so far in 20 games and 81 PAs in the so-called "second half" of the 2014 campaign.