You can forgive Washington Nationals fans for panicking at the slightest hint of bad news at this point, with Stephen Strasburg out for at least the NLDS (and likely the rest of the season), Daniel Murphy still recovering (two weeks later) from a buttock strain and aiming for an October 7th return, Wilson Ramos done for the season with an ACL tear and Bryce Harper scuffling and dealing with an injury to his right thumb...
So, when Jayson Werth left Friday night’s series opener with the Miami Marlins in the seventh, with the Nats trailing by two, some feared the worst.
After what ended up a 7-4 loss to the Fish, both Werth and Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker explained the 37-year-old outfielder’s early exit, with what Baker described as back tightness.
“You err on the side of caution at this point,” Werth explained, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“You don’t want to do something where you can put yourself in jeopardy, where you can really get hurt.”
“He had tightness in his back and we can’t afford to lose anybody else,” Baker told reporters.
“So we decided — it was wet, on the chilly side, and decided and I couldn’t take a chance on him being injured too.”
Baker said Werth told him about the issue, as opposed to it being something he had noticed and acted on.
“He said something to me. He just said, ‘Hey, I’m tightening up,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, no, I’ve got to get you out of there,’ and so I made the move.”
Asked if he thought it was the sort of thing that could keep Werth out of the lineup for a day or more, Baker said, “I don’t know, man, I’ll see tomorrow.”
Werth, again, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, didn’t seem to think it would:
“If I’m not in there tomorrow, I’d be surprised. It’s possible it could still be tight tomorrow, but I don’t think we’re dealing with anything that’s anything other than tightness in there. I didn’t strain anything. I didn’t pull anything. When I came in, we did a bunch of tests, most of the tests with the training staff. And we ruled out any strains or pulls or anything like that. It’s more of a tightness thing.”
He finished the night 0 for 3 with a K on the night when he was done, leaving him with a .244/.335/.417 line, 28 doubles and 21 HRs in 143 games and 606 plate appearances.