It looks like Jayson Werth will need to land on the disabled list, after all.
Werth hasn’t played since May 2 against the Braves because of a tight right hamstring, and all along, the Nationals have felt that Werth would need just a few days off and then would be able to return to the lineup. The veteran outfielder suffered a bit of a setback today, however, as his hamstring went into spasm while doing leg curls.
Manager Davey Johnson said that the leg curls are a part of Werth’s standard pregame routine, but when working out today, the ailing hamstring started acting up again.
“He’s not doing too good,” Johnson said. “We’ll see how he is through the game today, but it’s looking more like he might be heading to the DL.”
Johnson said outfielder Eury Perez and infielder/outfielder Jeff Kobernus, both currently with Triple-A Syracuse, are candidates to be called up if Werth does go on the DL.
Corey Brown would normally be the first outfielder called up in such an instance, but he’s been out with an oblique injury since late April. Johnson also said he wanted a right-handed bat with the right-handed Werth going to the DL.
Meanwhile, Bryce Harper is out of tonight’s lineup after having a minor foot operation to fix an ingrown toenail on his right foot.
“(They) took a big chunk out of his toe. He was in a lot of pain last night and he’s gimpy today, so I’ll probably have to stay off him,” Johnson said.
Johnson says Harper should be able to return to action tomorrow.
Update: General manager Mike Rizzo says that Werth will indeed land on the disabled list with what’s being called a “very slight” hamstring strain.
“The three grades, this would be a Grade 1-ish type of strain,” Rizzo said.
The Nationals can backdate Werth’s DL stint to May 3, meaning he’ll be eligible to return to action May 18. Rizzo said that the Nats expect Werth to be ready to be activated as soon as he’s able to come off the DL.
Werth had an MRI performed on his hamstring Wednesday, and the Nats said that it looked clean at first glance. Compounding the issue with Werth’s hamstring is some sort of stomach ailment. The ailment has left Werth dehydrated and led to hamstring spasms as he’s tried to work out over the last few days.
Werth was put on antibiotics to try and get rid of the stomach ailment, and once that’s cleared up, the Nats expect Werth’s hamstring to respond favorably.
“Well, the hydration issue is a factor,” Rizzo said. “We think it could be just cramping because of the hydration. So we’re going to get that under control and see where he’s at and just be cautious with it.”
Kobernus is not on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, but the team has one open spot on their 40-man roster, which would allow them to call up Kobernus without needing to make another other roster moves. Perez is already on the 40-man.
Kobernus has been an infielder for most of his career but has played 19 games in the outfield this season. The 24-year-old is off to a torrid start offensively, hitting .371 with a .402 on-base percentage.
Perez is hitting .346 in 23 games at Syracuse, but has just one walk to 17 strikeouts.