Jayson Werth did not join the rest of the Nationals for their morning workout, which is taking place inside Space Coast Stadium. Werth missed yesterday’s workout with back spasms, Manager Davey Johnson said.
Werth was in the Nationals clubhouse this morning. Asked how his back was feeling, Werth said, “I don’t care” before walking away.
The Nationals are not concerned with Werth’s condition. Johnson said yesterday he was unworried but “I’m not taking any chances” with the injury. The Nationals are treating it, for now, as a minor spring training ailment.
The Nationals are working out inside their spring training ballpark today, and not on the backfields, because Johnson wants the players to grow accustomed to the conditions before games begin. The Nationals will play an exhibition against Georgetown on Friday, and on Saturday they will travel to Kissimmee for their first Grapefruit League game, against the Astros.
Werth will not travel for the first game, which had been planned before his back flared up. Johnson said he will use precaution in getting Werth into games.
Updated 12:28 p.m.: At the end of the workout, Werth ran onto the field and played catch, then shagged some flies in center field. Johnson reiterated that his back injury is not considered serious.
The Nationals had another notable absence: First baseman Adam LaRoche did not participate in today’s workout, which Johnson described as a precautionary measure. LaRoche “tweaked” his ankle running the bases yesterday, and his throwing shoulder is still regaining strength. Still, “he’s fine,” Johnson said.
Chad Tracy also missed today’s workout with a minor ailment.
Updated 3:02 p.m.: So, it turns out Werth did more than originally thought. While he did not run on to the field until the end of the workout, he took batting practice in the cage, Johnson said. Both Werth and LaRoche were cleared by trainers, but Johnson personally held them out as a precaution.
“That was strictly on me,” Johnson said. “That was not anything from the training room. They all had green lights.”
Johnson said he had planned on giving Werth a couple at-bats Sunday against the Astros, but “but I might have to postpone that upon further review and discussions with him,” Johnson said. “I got the impression last year as a bystander that he didn’t feel the urgent need to jump right in and get going. He had his own schedule in his mind.”
Tracy, by the way, had a cortisone shot in his knee, Johnson said, so he could be out for a few days.