Werth fouled a ball off his foot last night, and also has a sore right hand that requires a wrap around his thumb. Right field is less than strenuous physically than center, and Johnson and Werth agreed it would be best for Werth to take right this afternoon. Rick Ankiel will play center, returning to the lineup after three games on the bench.
While Werth moved back to right field, he remained at second in the batting order, the spot Johnson moved him to from fifth on Saturday. Johnson wanted to mix up the lineup, and thought Werth’s strengths and current approach would fit better at second.
“He’s really not attacking the ball,” Johnson said. “He’s taking a lot of pitches. They’re pounding our 3-4-5 inside. He’s been hitting the ball a lot to the right side. I just felt like shaking it up. I like him. I just felt like maybe a little change in scenery would help.”
Last night, Werth went 1 for 4 with a home run to right-center field, his 16th of the season. Michael Morse also hit a home run in his first game in left field since May. Johnson kept him there even while letting Chris Marrero rest today. He wanted Marrero to take a day to enjoy his major league debut and settle in. But he also wants Morse to acclimate to left, the position he will play next year with the return of Adam LaRoche. So Layne Nix is at first base today.