Jayson Werth clubbed the most dramatic home run in Washington’s baseball history last October, a moment nothing about his recent performance foretold. Between his return from a broken left wrist in August and the end of the regular season, Werth reached base almost 40 percent of the time but hit only two homers in 231 at-bats.
The recovering wrist sapped some of Werth’s power, but, as he revealed today, it was not the only factor. Werth switched to a different bat, the same one he had used upon returning from his previous wrist injury in 2007. His bat late last year was an ounce lighter than his normal model, more balanced and less weighted in the barrel.
“I feel like that’s my average bat,” Werth said. “And the other bat is my homer bat.”
This spring, Werth is back to his homer bat. He came to spring training still regaining strength in his wrist, and it is still not 100 percent. He feels occasional weakness and soreness in the muscle at the base of his thumb, which he said is important for snapping his wrist as he swings. Overall, though, Werth is pleased with how his wrist is progressing.
“My hand’s been feeling good,” Werth said. “It’s good days and bad days still. … It didn’t get stronger there for a month [at the end of last season], so I took a month off. Then when I started back up, it was noticeably weaker. But it’s coming along. I’m still dealing with some stuff.
“It’s getting better. My swing is getting better.”
It feels good enough to use the same bat he swung before he broke his wrist. During batting practice today, Werth smoked pitches over the fence and scattered line drives. The past few days, he has hit with noticeably more authority. In the first inning today, he roped a liner to center.
Werth still isn’t certain which bat he’ll use during the regular season, but he knows he wants to use the heavier model. “We’ll see,” Werth said. “It might still be too heavy once we get to the season. That’s the bat I usually hit all the homers with. That’s the bat I want to use.”