Twice in Friday's exhibition win over the Minnesota Twins at Nationals Park, Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth misplayed fly balls against the wall into base hits, with one defecting off the base of his glove and getting lodged -- and quickly unlodged -- in the padding around the bullpen window.
Then on a ground ball single, with the play in front of him, baserunner Eddie Rosario saw Werth take his time to get to the ball and stole third on the outfielder. When the throw went into third, Byung Ho Park took the extra base and moved up to second. They both scored on Eduardo Escobar's double.
None of the plays were scored an error, but they were all defensive mistakes.
The Nats are already losing defensive prowess in center, with Ben Revere replacing Denard Span. Span is one of the best route-runners in the game, often making the spectacular look routine. Revere is an average left-fielder and less than that in center -- he uses his appreciable speed to make up for his shortcomings. And his arm is below-average whichever field he plays.
Werth used to be a pretty good right fielder, but that was several seasons ago. He was moved to left to allow the younger, faster and generally more-talented Bryce Harper to man the more-difficult right field with the hope that the aging Werth would play a passable left field for the remainder of his contract.
Nats fans better hope that Werth was playing at half-speed during the exhibition and he'll be able to find another gear come opening day. Washington has seen some pretty crummy left fielders since 2005 (Alfonso Soriano, Wily Mo Pena, Adam Dunn...heck, even Paul LoDuca), but Werth turned three routine plays on Friday into base runners -- and, eventually, runs.
Pitchers don't like to have to get more than three outs per inning.