Jayson Werth had been scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Friday night at Class A Potomac, but he was present in the Nationals’ clubhouse this afternoon. Because of the rainy weather and minor stiffness in his left wrist, Werth will start Saturday instead.
Werth took batting practice at Nationals Park the past two days and surprised himself and team officials with how well he hit. Today, Werth felt some soreness in his wrist, but nothing to be alarmed about
“His doctor said that’s to be expected,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “That’s a good sign. He said once you get that, you’re good to go. He heated it up in here and he did a few exercises, and he felt great. He’s going tomorrow. No biggie. Actually good news.”
Werth had planned on a flexible rehab schedule, so the one-day delay is not all that surprising.
Chad Tracy and Xavier Nady will play tonight at Potomac, however. Nady will reach the maximum 20 days for a position player on rehab assignment, and the Nationals will have to make a decision whether to promote Nady, who hit .157/.211/.171 in the majors over 102 at-bats, or designate him for assignment.
Based on their DFA of Rick Ankiel yesterday, the latter seems the most likely option. At Potomac, Nady has gone 5 for 35 with three walks, a double and nine strikeouts. The Nationals will wait to make sure they do not suffer any injuries in tonight’s game.
“We don’t make these decisions not knowing what could happen in the game,” Johnson said. “We’ll wait and see what happens.”
Based on weather reports he’s seen, Johnson is confident the Nationals will play tonight despite some soggy conditions. If rain did suspend the game, Johnson said the Nationals would probably just roll their rotation forward. That would rob John Lannan, who’s at the park already, of his first start of the season. Johnson didn’t want to consider that. “Let him have some peace of mind,” Johnson said.