OAKLAND, Calif. — Jayson Werth used two of the tallest crutches ever seen in the visitors’ clubhouse to move around it Sunday evening, gathering his things for the team’s trip to Los Angeles after their 11-10 win. Werth did not play in Sunday’s afternoon game after he fouled a ball off his left foot, the same area that cost him a few games in spring training, on Saturday night and will likely miss a few more games now.
Werth asked to address reporters Monday, instead of after Sunday’s game, hoping to have a better sense of his status by then. His manager, Dusty Baker, said X-rays of the area were negative — a positive. But that “he’s not looking good.”
“That’s the same toe he fouled the ball off [in spring training], and I think he missed two or three games then,” Baker said. “He’s not looking good, but the X-rays were negative, but he’s on crutches. It’s not looking good for now.”
Werth wore a walking boot in the clubhouse Sunday, which may have been as much for protection as anything. He was moving slowly, not much like a man who will play in the near future.
Whatever the extent of his injury, it will interrupt what had been a season of youthful vigor for the 38-year-old, who has bounced around the field like a much younger man, sliding into bases and diving in the outfield, as he hit .262 with an .813 OPS in his first 47 games.
Without him, the Nationals will need to find someone to fill the second spot in the order, which they have been unsuccessful in filling in his absence since Adam Eaton went down with injury. Brian Goodwin hit there Sunday, and he went 0 for 5.
Should the Nationals decide to place Werth on the 10-day disabled list, they could consider calling up recently acquired veteran outfielder Ryan Raburn, who is currently in Class AAA Syracuse and would give them another right-handed-hitting outfielder. With Chris Heisey out, the Nationals are short on outfielders and righties in particular. Rafael Bautista, who got his first big league call up earlier this year, has not played for Class AAA Syracuse since May 23 due to injury.