Jayson Werth is suffering through arguably one of the most disappointing seasons for any player in Major League Baseball right now, as Dan Uggla seemed to turn his around, stringing together a 33-game hit streak.
Werth cashed in this past winter, literally jumping from the best to the worst team in the National League East. It’s hard to blame him - I mean, what would you do in that situation? Lots of people have been ragging on him because of his dismal performance so far in 2011, where in 115 games he has hit .226 with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs. Not exactly what the Nationals thought they were getting in their seven-year, $126 million investment.
I guess a majority of the Werth bashers thought he was going to come in and single handedly carry this team to the next level, but if this season is any indication, Werth is nothing more than a fine complementary player.
In Philadelphia, he had the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to help lead the powerful lineup; in Washington, he has assumed the role of being the best offensive player for the Nationals, and unlike Ryan Zimmerman, Werth is known for his bat, not his glove.
Hitting in a lineup where Michael Morse is your most productive power hitter is a clear sign (red flag) that there are not a lot of threatening players, one through nine. So given the following, I’m not worried about Werth as much as people think I should be. Zimmerman will eventually be healthy and return to form, the team will call up Bryce Harper sooner than later and Morse finally looks like he figured out how to hit at the major league level.
That’s a lot of what-ifs, but it’s completely feasible. Baseball is a game of situations, meaning a player’s productivity has a lot to do with team performance in the win column and individual player performance. Werth is a proven winner, and I have no doubt that if these what-ifs become a reality, then we will see the Werth of old.
The day is coming; it’s just a matter of how patient you want to be.
Ted Youngling blogs about the Nationals for The Nats Blog, and offers his viewpoints as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.