The return of Jayson Werth to the Washington Nationals last week was equivalent to the Nats going out and acquiring a big bat at the trade deadline. His offensive production and versatility in the outfield is a major addition to this team as they look to capture their first National League East title.
The return of Werth not only gives the Nats a better chance to win the division, but it also allows them to be a bigger force if they make it to the playoffs. Werth's return to the Nationals puts them over the top and will give them what they need in the final quarter of the season.
Most of the time when a player of Werth's caliber is sandwiched into a lineup with Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Michael Morse, it results in tremendous production. This should be the case with Werth as the stretch approaches.
Werth could not have come back at a better time. Over his career, he has hit .296 in August—30 points higher than any other month. He has excelled when most players tire out in August, and the time spent on the disabled list should have him fresher than any other player on the field.
The Nationals will continue to prosper from Werth when the playoffs begin as well due to his experience in October. Werth has played in 10 playoff series', spanning 44 games throughout his career.
His experience will be an added bonus to the Nationals, as most of the team will be entering uncharted territory in terms of meaningful baseball in October.
His postseason numbers are impressive as well: .268 batting average, 13 home runs and a .608 slugging percentage, including a .351 average in 11 World Series games.
Perhaps most importantly, however, Werth has been in playoff races before and can be a leader for the younger players on the Nats who are going to begin to feel the pressure as the postseason becomes closer.
Asides from the offensive production, Werth provides the Nationals with the option to move Harper out of center to give him a break from time to time. Werth and Harper's rotation in left and center field will allow for both players' legs to remain fresh as the playoffs approach.
When a player who is capable of hitting around 30 home runs and 30 doubles returns to a lineup, a team can prosper significantly.
Add that production to a team that boasts the MLB's best record, and the opposition will have to take notice.