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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Nationals Injury Update: Jayson Werth, Steven Souza

By on 8/09/2014 07:29:00 PM

Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth, will sit out for the second straight game as he deals with ankle and shoulder issues, according to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. Steven Souza Jr, who injured his left shoulder in Friday night's game, is improving and is available off the bench. The young outfielder passed concussion tests both Friday night and Saturday.

Werth is hitting .280/.365/.431 (OPS+ 121) with 12 homers and 63 RBI and was named NL Player of the Month for July. Werth sprained his ankle on July 28 in Miami, Zuckerman writes that Werth hurt his right shoulder while trying to catch a ball up against the right-field fence last week at Nationals Park.

“He’s been playing with it, but it can get cranky every once in a while,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said of the shoulder ailment. “He’s had a little bit of an issue with it. It’s been sore on occasion. And if he takes a funky swing or swings at a bad ball, where he’s really got to extend, then it gets him, then it’ll get sore again. He’s been playing with it for, I don’t know, a week and a half or so. Playing really well, too.” In August, Werth is 7 for 27 with 4 RBI.

Now in his age-35 season, Werth was the Baltimore Orioles' first round draft pick in 1997 and was traded in December 2000 while a minor leaguer to the Toronto Blue Jays. He made his debut September 1, 2002. In March 2004 the  Blue Jays traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jason Frasor. In 2005, his second year with the Dodgers, he averaged only .234/.338/.374, and spent the 2006 season on the DL after surgery on his left wrist. The Dodgers released him and he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in December 2006. He became a star with the Phillies, winning a World Series ring in 2008 and being named to the 2009 NL All-Star team.

Granted free agency after the 2010 season, Werth signed a seven-year $126 million deal with the Washington Nationals that takes him through 2017. The contract was considered an overpay by the Nationals, and a down year in 2011 seemed to confirm that. He broke his right wrist in May 2012, and played only half the season, while putting up a line of .300/.387/.440 (OPS+ 124) and endearing himself to Nats fans with a game-winning home run in Game 4 of the NLDS. In 2013, healthy except for a month on the DL with a hamstring strain, Werth slashed  .318/.398/.532 (OPS +155) with 25 homers and 82 RBI.

Souza Jr was hitting .354/.435/.601 OPS 1.036 at Triple-A Syracuse before his promotion on August 5. He was also up briefly in April, and overall is 1 for 12. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Nationals in 2007 and made his debut April 13, 2014. He is pre-arb and under team control through 2019. 

  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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