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Nationals targeting August 1 return for Jayson Werth “may be a bit too optimistic”

Jul 12, 2012, 12:17 PM EDT

Jayson Werth Getty Images

Jayson Werth still hasn’t been cleared to swing a bat yet 10 weeks after breaking his wrist on May 6, but Mark Zuckerman of reports that the wrist is healed and the Nationals continue to target August 1 for his return date.

According to Zuckerman “that may be a bit too optimistic, but the club fully expects to have its veteran right fielder back for the stretch run.”

Because primary fill-in Steve Lombardozzi has played so well and the Nationals are in first place with the NL’s best record there’s little need to rush Werth back, so expect a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment during which he can show that the wrist injury hasn’t sapped his power.

Once he does return Bryce Harper will likely be asked to play center field regularly, with Mike Morse and Werth flanking him in the outfield corners and Lombardozzi sliding into a super-utility man role. Werth was having a nice bounceback season before the injury, hitting .276 with an .810 OPS in 27 games.

  1. kkolchak - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    The Nats also have rookie Tyler Moore filling in against lefties. Moore has bopped 4 HRs in only 71 ABs and has an OPS of .915. No need for Werth to come back until he is truly healed and ready for the stretch run.

  2. cur68 - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    According to Zach Zorich in his excellent article for Archaeology; A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America (Volume 63 Number 2, March/April 2010): “Should We Clone Neanderthals? The scientific, legal, and ethical obstacles”
    Zorich quotes paleogeneticist Carles Lalueza-Fox who notes that “Neanderthals had a unique variant of the gene for pale skin and red hair” & that “Their bones were often thicker and stronger than ours, but they typically show a lot of healed breaks”. So, with Werth’s genetic history taken into account, I suspect that he’ll be back by August 1. Y’gonna heal fast when your genetics are set up for hunting Mammoths.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      Next time I see Jayson Werth chasing a mammoth around Nats Park, I’ll let you know.

      • cur68 - Jul 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        My money’s on the mammoth.

  3. crash1582 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Lots of good outfielders on this squad…. had to have to make the decision on which one gets sent down to make room for Werth. Mr. Lombordozi, I know your hitting one over the fense once every 4-5 games for us….but thats just not enough’….lol Good Luck Mr. Rizzo. Awsome Problem to have.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Lombardozzi hitting a homer every 4-5 games? Um, no. When he hits a homer, it’s an event. His game is hitting line drives and walking.

      With primary LH pinch-hitter Chad Tracy returning sometime, it’s going to get even more crowded. Moore would be an obvious choice to go down, but he’s hitting well. So there’s no obvious choice.

      An awesome problem to have, indeed. Considering the mediocrity that has passed for the Nats’ bench the past several seasons. The young folk (Harper, Lombardozzi, Moore, Jhonaton Solano) have done a nice job of stepping in when called.

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