SAN DIEGO - After Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne struck Jayson Werth on his left wrist with a fastball on Friday night, the 35-year old attempted to remain in the game. When the top of the second inning ended, Nationals manager Matt Williams met Werth outside the dugout to check on the 13-year veteran.
“I got my glove (and) was like trying to squeeze it and I just couldn’t,” Werth said. “I told Matt, ‘It’s gonna come back. I’ll go play defense and if it’s not good by the time we come off the field ...” and nd as I’m saying that, I’m trying to squeeze my glove and I was like, ‘I don’t think I’d be able to catch a ball right now.’ Then, by the time I got up (to the clubhouse) to get an X-ray and put ice on it, within like 30 minutes, it was swelled up pretty good.”
The X-rays didn’t reveal any fractures. Werth explained that further tests must wait until the swelling subsides.
“Because I took a fastball off it, so it’s just gonna show that it’s blown up, so we gotta let it calm down a little bit,” he said. “And if it doesn’t respond, then we’ll get the test. Hopefully, it’s just a bruise and we’ll be all right.”
Werth indicated that an MRI would be the next step, possibly as soon as the Nats’ off-day on Monday.
A wrist guard deflected some of the brunt of Despaigne’s heater, but not enough.
“It hit the guard square,” Werth said. “Good thing it got it, but even with it ... It’s just three surgeries to it. The injuries to it. It’s a sensitive area anyways, with all the damage I’ve already taken on it. It’s tender.”
Werth first broke his left wrist when former Marlins right-hander A.J. Burnett hit him with a pitch during spring training in 2005 when Werth was playing with the Dodgers.
“That one cost me two years,” Werth said, referring to the two surgeries he needed to undergo.
A diving catch fractured Werth’s wrist again in May 2012, costing him three months. But on Saturday, Werth unfortunately reflected back to the first injury when attempting to compare his latest problems.
“Reminds a lot of the original one,” he said. “Same idea. You know, ball hits my wrist ... ball goes past first base. I think I fell down the same. The whole thing. It’s like déjà vu unfortunately. I’ve been there a lot since. I think I’ve come out of one game after I got hit there, but I played the next day. But this one is definitely a lot more severe than any of those. So I’ll be down for a couple for sure.”
“It’s tough because I don’t want the team to play short if I’m not available. I don’t want to go on the DL either, but it’s not up to me.”
After a slow recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, Werth appeared to be finally turning the corner. He was 5-for-15 (.333) in his last four games with a homer before this setback.
“At least now I got some peace of mind,” Werth said. “Once this comes back, I’ll feel like I had my swing and had my timing and was starting to get it going. If I hadn’t, I think that would’ve been tougher because then I’d be dealing with not only this, but the shoulder rehab and the timing and everything else. At least I got that going for me.”