Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Werth's wrist still not at full strength

WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Jayson Werth did a great job hitting at the leadoff spot for the Nationals last year, going 46-for-149 [.309] with two home runs, 12 RBIs and a .388 on-base percentage at the top of the order.

But with the addition of Denard Span, Werth will move down to the middle of the order – most likely sixth – and that's fine with him.

"I didn't mind leading off last year with the personnel we had. It was best for our team. I was happy to do it," Werth said. "We get a guy like Denard at the top of your lineup that is a prototypical leadoff guy. It's going to be awesome to have him up there."

Werth hopes to completely have his power back by the time the season starts. Last season, Werth broke his left wrist on May 6 against the Phillies, an injury that kept him out of action until early August.

On Saturday, Werth said the wrist is not as strong as he would like it to be. When he returned, he hit just two home runs. For the season, he hit a total of five, not including the game-winning home run against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.

"At the end of the season, I was dealing with strength. I didn't have the strength. I was told it will come back. It takes time," Werth said. "The power numbers weren't there. Hopefully, it will be there this year. They [the doctors] say 18 months which would put us past the season. So we'll see. I feel confident that I could play at a high level [without the wrist being 100 percent]."