Jayson Werth Injury: 1st-Place Washington Nationals Dealt Devastating Blow

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 06:  Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals is helped off the field by manager Davey Johnson and assistant athletic trainer Mike McGowan after injuring his wrist in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on May 6, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The surging Washington Nationals are unfortunately losing star right fielder Jayson Werth, which is a major hit for a team that continued to surprise everyone. 

According to the Washington Post, Werth broke his left wrist while attempting to make a sliding catch in the Nationals' 9-3 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies.

"It’s a clean break,” Washington manager Davey Johnson said after the Nationals’ 9-3 loss. “He’s going to be out for a while."

Update: May 7 at 2:10 p.m. ET 

William Ladson covers the Nationals for MLB.com, and he tweeted the latest news on Werth's wrist injury.

#Nats RF Jayson Werth had left wrist surgery today. He will be out for more than six weeks. I was told at least 12 weeks. #Nats #MLB

— William Ladson (@washingnats) May 7, 2012

No matter how long Werth is unable to play, it's a crushing blow to the success Washington was starting to build. 

With a half-game lead over the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals are in first place in the NL East, but without Werth for quite some time, they'll most likely fall back. 

A positive outlook on this is Werth is getting hurt early in the season. Losing him late in the year while the team is on top of the division would be much worse.

However, there's no doubt it messes with the team chemistry and all the good that was happening for Washington at the moment.  

The Nationals are stacked with young talent and were definitely making some noise in Major League Baseball this year. 

Sure, it's a long season and typically by the end of the year Washington fizzles out, but this year seemed different. 

Now that Werth will be out an extended amount of time, though, it puts a great deal of pressure on the rest of the lineup to get the job done. 

So far on the year, Werth was hitting .276 with three home runs and 12 RBI. The cleanup hitter had the second-best numbers on the team to Adam LaRoche, so now, Washington must find others to fill the void. 

Bryce Harper will have to step up, which the Nationals hope won't be a problem. He's a bright young star that they believe will help take them far.

Since Werth is gone, more heat is placed on Harper to get the job done.

Xavier Nady will get more playing time too and has to make the most of it. The Nationals need him to start playing like his old self, but there's no guarantee he achieves that. 

The Nationals still have the talent to stay in contention in the NL East, but it certainly won't be easy without Werth in the lineup to crush the ball and bring runners home. 

 

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