- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
In midst of ‘MVP year,’ Jayson Werth at his best since joining Nationals
Werth came off the disabled list on June 4. In the 80 games he has played in since, he has hit .342 with a .425 on-base percentage and .527 slugging percentage. He’s seeing 0.17 fewer pitches per plate appearance, and swinging at the first pitch more (19 percent of the time). He’s hitting .394 with five home runs when he does.
The adjustment of holding his hands higher in his stance was an idea he had to help him generate more power. Right after he did it in July, he hit five home runs in four games.
Werth’s first season in Washington was abysmal. His second, the most successful in team history, though he missed a lot of it with a broken left wrist. Now, playing every day, producing the way he is, Werth admits he feels as much like himself as he has since he was a member of the Phillies.
“I’d say that’s fair,” Werth said. “Even last year, I was dealing with some circumstances with the wrist. I think right before I did get injured [in 2012], I was starting to get rolling and feel pretty good. But I would say ever since I came back from the DL, I’ve been feeling more like myself and I think the type of player that I knew I was. In the end, that’s what brought me to Washington.”
Said Rollins, “[Early on in D.C.] he was still trying to find out who he was. He was a Phillie. He was a champion as a Phillie. The organization gave him an opportunity to blossom, to become who he is.
“So now it’s like ‘Where’s my home? Who am I?’ [He’s there] but I’m sure his heart was still here in Philadelphia, initially. But you get over that. Like anything, it’s a breakup. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.”
His old teammates can tell how much more comfortable Werth is now with the Nationals, compared to his first year. They see the same ferocious opponent who grinds out at-bats and, as a .360 batting average on balls in play can attest, is hitting the ball hard an awful lot. He has accepted his role as a leader in the Nationals’ clubhouse and thrived in it, rather than having it thrust upon him.
So he’s not much interested in talking about it. Werth is an insightful and analytical player, so there’s no doubt he knows precisely what the “whys” are behind it. He just doesn’t want to publicly delve into them.
“He’s in an awfully good place,” manager Davey Johnson said. “Very seldom does he not have a quality at-bat.”
Might Werth, the manager was asked while sitting in the dugout at Citizens Bank Park this week, be back to being as good as he was when he was with the Phillies?
“I think he’s a better hitter than he was here,” Johnson said. “He had a rough finish in 2011. Aside from injuries, he played awfully well last year. Coming out of injuries this year he’s been good as I’ve ever seen him.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Inside the Ring: China targeting U.S. spy flights
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.