Jayson Werth started 57 of the Nationals’ first 58 games and appeared in the other as a pinch hitter. The streak could come to an end Friday night, as Werth is out of the Nationals‘ lineup for the first time since April 12.
“He needs a day,” Manager Matt Williams said. “He’s played a lot, and played hard. He woke up this morning a little stiff. I thought today would be a good day for him.”
Williams rested Werth a day after he gave Ian Desmond his first day off of the season. With Ryan Zimmerman back in the lineup, the Nationals can sit one of their starters more easily. But Williams said that wasn’t as much of a factor as Werth’s and Desmond’s fatigue.
Werth said he and Williams discussed the best time for him to be out of the lineup. Werth said under normal circumstances, he would prefer to take a day game off. But several factors convinced them to choose Friday night.
The Padres will throw left-hander Eric Stults on Sunday, the only day game in San Diego, and it wouldn’t make sense for Werth to sit against a lefty. The only other day game on the Nationals’ road trip comes Thursday in San Francisco. Tim Hudson is slated to pitch that game, and Werth is 15 for 39 with four walks and three homers against Hudson in his career.
“The better day off would be a day game,” Werth said. “But with the travel east to west, this is good.”