Werth left the game after four innings and was replaced by Roger Bernadina in right field. The Nats don’t think that Werth will need to land on the DL, but he’ll get at least today off as he tries to let that ailing hamstring heal.
This is now the third time in the Nats’ last four contests that Werth has been out of the lineup. He’s also been battling a sore left ankle, the result of taking a foul ball off his lower-shin area on Monday night.
Danny Espinosa returns to the starting lineup tonight after Steve Lombardozzi had gotten the start at second base the last two nights.
Ryan Zimmerman also is back in the Nats’ starting nine after being activated off the DL today.
Ian Desmond hit fourth in the lineup two nights ago. Last night, he hit fifth. Tonight, Desmond will be in the No. 2 hole in the order, as manager Davey Johnson continues to search for someone who can occupy that spot behind Denard Span and ahead of Bryce Harper.
Tyler Moore will start in right tonight, marking the first time in his big league career he’s been written into the starting lineup as a right fielder.
The fact that Moore is starting in right says as much about the way Bernadina is playing right now as it does about Moore’s recent performance. Bernadina is 1-for-22 with nine strikeouts to start the season.
Given Bernadina’s experience playing right field and the fact that he’s a left-handed hitter, it would make sense for Johnson to start him against right-hander A.J. Burnett, who is starting for the Pirates tonight. Instead, it’s the right-handed-hitting Moore who has had minimal game reps in right who finds himself in the lineup.
Ross Detwiler (1-2, 2.03 ERA) starts for the Nats tonight. Burnett is off to a hot start to 2013; he’s 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA in six starts and is third in the major leagues with 48 strikeouts.
For the Nats
CF Denard Span
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Tyler Moore
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Ross Detwiler