Jayson Werth injures his ankle avoiding a tag at second base.

Before he even arrived at Marlins Park, Jayson Werth sent Manager Matt Williams a text message telling him his sprained right ankle felt well enough to return to the lineup.

” ‘Let’s go. I’m ready to go,’ ” Williams said the text message read. “I said, ‘Yes sir.’ And I put his name in the lineup.”

Werth injured his right ankle Monday trying to evade a tag at second base after attempting to stretch a single into a double. He left the game and didn’t start Tuesday. He pinch hit in the ninth inning Tuesday and would have required a pinch runner if he reached base.

But by Wednesday morning, the minor ankle sprain felt better. Werth is starting in right field and hitting third in the lineup against Marlins left-handed starter Brad Hand. With a lineup lacking Werth and Ryan Zimmerman (hamstring), the Nationals were shut out Tuesday.

“There’s no issue with [Werth on Wednesday],” Williams said. “He’s ready to go. Again, he may be a little bit sore. He told me this morning he’s ready to go. We’re putting him in the lineup. We need him in there.”

Williams is starting Wilson Ramos behind the plate for the third straight game, an early day game after a night game. The Nationals have been cautious with Ramos since last season as he has endured three hamstring strains and hamate bone surgery. Ramos has started four straight games twice since he returned from the disabled list on June 26 following a hamstring strain.

But Wednesday seemed like a ideal chance to rest Ramos. After a night game, catchers usually get a day game off. Williams, however, checked with Ramos after Tuesday’s game. Ramos told him he felt good.

“We pick our spots when we can do stuff like this with him,” Williams said “Day after night. It won’t happen all the time. Pretty good environment here. We’ve been able to close the roof. The A/C is on. It’s not too hot at game time for him. We’ll pick our spots. We want to play him as much as we can and this is an opportunity to do so.”



1. Denard Span, CF

2. Anthony Rendon, 3B

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Ian Desmond, SS

6. Bryce Harper, LF

7. Wilson Ramos, C

8. Danny Espinosa, 2B

9. Tanner Roark, SP



1. Christian Yelich, LF

2. Jordany Valdespin, 2B

3. Giancarlo Stanton, RF

4. Casey McGehee, 3B

5. Garrett Jones, 1B

6. Marcell Ozuna, CF

7. Adeiny Hechavarria, SSS

8. Jeff Mathis, C

9. Brad Hand, SP