WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Right fielder Jayson Werth completed the first game of his rehab from an injured hamstring Wednesday for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium. Werth made the most of the four innings he played, going 1-for-2, getting in a rundown on the base paths that enabled a run to score and throwing a runner out at home plate from right field.
But the biggest concern on this night was a true-game situation test of his tight hamstring, which has kept him out of the lineup since early May. And he passed all tests.
“(It went) pretty good,” Werth said. “It has been a couple of weeks since I have been out there. It was a step in the right direction, I think.”
He grounded out to second base in his first at-bat and ran down to first and through the bag with no problems.
In his second at-bat, Werth went to 2-2 count against Wilmington right-hander Spencer Patton, fouling a few pitches similar to before his divisional series walk-off. The next pitch, he stroked into center field for a clean single. He was replaced by Justin Miller to start the fifth.
Werth said the next step is to test the hamstring more intensely Thursday night and see how it reacts.
“We will need to push it tomorrow if I plan to come off (the DL) on Saturday,” Werth said. “We will see how it goes. See how I feel tomorrow and we will go from there.”
Werth said he has been doing a lot of exercising this past week and has never felt at any point that this was a serious injury.
“I have been running, and that is the thing,” Werth said. “It hasn’t been real bad at any point. We are not far away that is for sure. Just need to test in game situations and game speed and go from there.
“I have been kind of ramping up to this point. We got on the field which is good and everything went well. The decision is not mine so we will see what they say.”
I also asked Werth about what he thought about Bryce Harper’s collision with the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium Monday and if he was extremely concerned.
“Initially, yes,” Werth said. “Once the word came that everything was OK, I thought it was fairly hilarious.
“But we definitely need to get that under control because you don’t want to see any players running face-first into fences like that, especially a guy like Bryce that has potentially a pretty long career ahead of him. I have said this many times before that Bryce has a got a lot to learn, and again it is fairly apparent that he has got a lot to learn. He will be all right.”
And what about the rundown that went on for a half-a-dozen relays between second, third and home before Werth was tagged out and the runner was safe at home?
I said to Werth that you never see those plays in the majors, and he replied with a smile.
“I don’t think you see those plays in the minors either, but nonetheless, I think they were all positives, though,” he said.