WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Saturday’s game against the Astros original lineup included Jayson Werth, but the second iteration did not. Since Werth’s knee was sore, Dusty Baker decided to sit him out to play it safe. In fact, Baker was so concerned about
the injury, he scoffed when someone asked him which knee bothered him.
“I don’t know,” Baker said with a smirk. “Pick one. Tell ’em both.”
To validate his manager’s levels of worry, Werth later jogged out to right field to take ground balls, bouncing around like he has been all spring. Werth, Baker assured reporters, is just fine. He was scheduled to be off Sunday, so he won’t play then either.
“He’ll be ready to come back on Monday,” Baker said.
So far this spring, Werth has played in 11 games so far and is hitting .130 in 23 at-bats. He entered this spring healthy and has played with visible energy, looking light on his feet. Baker planned to play Werth more in the coming weeks, a plan he hopes can remain intact.
“I was planning to take him up a notch as far as innings played and stuff to get some endurance,” Baker said. “This is just a little minor thing … He wanted to play today, and I told him no.”
Originally, Michael A. Taylor replaced Werth in the lineup, but had to leave the team to deal with a family matter, Baker said. Taylor’s family lives in Fort Lauderdale, about 45 minutes from West Palm Beach, the Nationals’ complex. Saturday, Brian Goodwin will play center field, flanked by Adam Eaton and Bryce Harper.