The Washington Times - May 7, 2012, 01:58AM

Jayson Werth walked off the field at Nationals Park, for the last time in what will surely be weeks if not months, in the sixth inning Sunday night, clutching his left wrist and clearly in significant pain. When manager Davey Johnson sat down at his postgame press conference, there was no way to sugar coat the news he had to deliver.

“He has a broken wrist,” Johnson said. “He’s going to be down for a while.”


Werth will see a specialist on Monday and the surgeon from the Mayo Clinic who helped save his career when he found and repaired a split tear of the ulnotriquetral ligament in the same wrist 2006 will be consulted.

Johnson said the break was a clean one and it was broken on the opposite side of where Werth has had his other issues but the Nationals weren’t immediately certain if there was any ligament or tendon damage and expected to know more once Werth saw the specialist on Monday.

In the meantime, the Nationals will move Bryce Harper over to right field and Johnson said to expect a steady diet of Roger Bernadina and Xavier Nady in left field, as well as possibly some Chad Tracy and Steve Lombardozzi. Presumably, Werth’s injury allows the Nationals to keep Tyler Moore on the roster when Ryan Zimmerman returns from the disabled list on Tuesday, but Moore has played sparingly since being called up last Sunday.

No matter who fills the spot in right field, Werth’s void will be a big one for a Nationals team that is hoping to get Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche back on Tuesday, but will still be without Michael Morse until at least June.

“Did he break his wrist?” Harper asked, informed of Werth’s diagnosis after the game. “Oh wow. That sucks. That’s really bad. Hopefully we can get Zim back and get Morse back rolling soon and hopefully (LaRoche) can get back in there also. We’ve got a great club. Great system and a lot of guys on our minor league side who can play also. That’s a big loss for us. (Werth’s) a great guy out there on the field. Really knows a lot about other teams. Man that’s a huge loss.”

The reaction around the clubhouse was much the same as Harper’s. If there was one overriding thought it was that the Nationals’ pitching staff and defense has been what they’ve built their success on this season. That can continue, regardless of how banged up their lineup gets, and it has to for them to maintain winning the way they have.

Here’s some of what Werth’s teammates had to say:

Ian Desmond: “He’s definitely going to be missed. It’s unfortunate for him. He’s been battling that wrist for quite a few years. I’ve obviously never been on a championship team, but I’m definitely a fan of baseball. And it seems like championship teams overcome things like this. So far, we’ve done a good job dealing with the injuries we’ve had. I think the guys that are in-waiting to go out there and play are going to answer the bell.”

“The guys that have come in have filled in and done a good job. Obviously I think there’s guys like Bernadina that, they’re big-league ballplayers and they can handle an everyday workload. I definitely think he’s totally capable of playing in the big leagues. I think he’s capable of impacting the ballclub. And I think he’s going to rise to the occasion.”

Adam LaRoche: “It’s pretty rough. Pretty rough right now. Never a good time to lose anybody, especially a guy in the heart of your lineup but it’s tough right now with all the injuries we’ve got and stuff going on. I haven’t heard a timeline or anything but it sucks.

“We were looking forward to this next series, this next week and being together again. Obviously we’re short another big bat and big part of this team for a while. So, time for everybody to step it up and help make up for that as much as we can.

“We talked, shoot, all through spring about pitchers staying healthy and that being a key and obviously it is now even more so. Either way, we’ve got to have our guys in there, our everyday guys. You can’t be missing three or four of them consistently and plan on winning a ton of games.”

Ryan Zimmerman: “We’ll just have to find ways to get around it. It’s frustrating. Anytime anyone gets hurt it’s tough, but it’s part of the deal. It’s a long season. We’re going to have to go through adversity and this team has the talent and the capability to do that.

“It’s early but we’re in first place and we’re (18-10) and we haven’t had our team together. We’re talented and we have enough pitching depth and defense to get through these times without our offense together and we’ll just continue to step up and get through the adversity.”

Chad Tracy: “It’s unfortunate for us and for him. He was having a good year. You feel for him. At the same time, we’ve got to find out what we’re made of and try to pick up where we left off.

“It seems like every team I’ve been on has had something like this happen. Obviously he’s one of our better players and we’re going to miss him. But at the same time, I feel like we’re deep enough and strong enough where we can keep pushing forward. This kind of stuff happens all the time, and good teams find a way to win.”

Xavier Nady: “It’s frustrating, obviously, to lose J-Dub. I heard guys talking. Obviously we’ve got to step up. I feel like there’s enough talent on this team to step in and obviously try to fill in while he’s gone. But it’s a long season and hopefully we can hold it down til he gets back.

“I just feel bad for him. It stinks. But we’ll hopefully fill in. I think our pitching has kept us in ballgames, and offensively we’ll break out here shortly.”

“Obviously when you start the season with a couple guys hurt, you’ve got to dig deep and show the character. Bryce has come up and provided a little spark, so that helps. So whatever the situation is for the time being, I think guys are capable of producing.”

Davey Johnson: “We seem to be getting a little more healthy, and then boom, one of our main guys goes down. We dealt with it before, we’ll deal with it again. But we’re not alone, other people, it seems like that’s rampant right now. But that was a tough blow, because I was anxious to have all the guys back by Tuesday.”