The Washington Nationals are hurting right now, with both Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg experiencing problems this week, and Jayson Werth gave them another scare when he left last night's contest against the Atlanta Braves. Much like Harper, Werth's injury doesn't seem like it will be quite a serious as first feared.
Werth came out of the game in the fifth inning, raising concern that either his ankle or hamstring problems had worsened. It emerged that the hamstring had just got tight during the game but there was no severe strain or tear. Amanda Comak, Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times, tweeted that Werth might still need 'a few days off':
Davey said Jayson Werth's hamstring tightened up. May need a few days off.
— Amanda Comak (@acomak) May 3, 2013
The Washington Post reported that during Tuesday's game, the Nationals' regular right fielder experienced cramping in his hamstring and then fouled a ball off his left ankle, leaving him with two injuries to deal with. He got good news on his ankle issue when X-rays came back negative on Wednesday afternoon. Given concerns over both injuries, Werth had promised he would tell Nats manager Davey Johnson as soon as he felt any discomfort. Werth felt his hamstring tighten when reaching for a Freddie Freeman single in the fourth inning and, true to his word, was 'totally honest' with Johnson. As with Harper the previous night, Johnson took no chances and sent Roger Bernadina out to replace Werth in the next inning.
“He’s a smart enough player to know that it was very close to pulling, and it just got real tight on him,” Johnson said.
According to Werth, a doctor said the injury was 'very mild', and Johnson confirmed that they would not send him to the DL. The Nationals are due to get Ryan Zimmerman back on Friday but he should replace rookie Anthony Rendon at third base, so Tyler Moore, who played the full game in left field on both Tuesday and Wednesday, could see extra at-bats while Werth recovers. Moore slugged .513 with 10 home runs and a .327 on-base percentage in 171 plate appearances last year.
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