Let’s face it. Jayson Werth has not done anything to justify his generous contract this season.
His first year as a National has been uninspiring to say the least. He has become an automatic out when he is at the plate, and he has also become a rally killer.
The Nationals are not paying him 18 million to play like a scrub. He has to snap out of it, because this is unacceptable.
There’s no question he’s trying too hard to make the Nationals look good in their investment. When a player does that, he tends to overanalyze. With so many thoughts about his swings, it can mess him up. That seems to be the case with him striking out looking or swinging at bad pitches.
Werth struck out 12 times in 5 days. That is an illustration of a guy who is confused at this point. His mechanics look out of whack.
To be fair, his hip problem may have affected his swing. He was hitting little bit better last week against the Mariners, so that may have something to do with it.
This is alarming. Even when he was healthy, he wasn’t hitting the ball out of the park as he was touted to do. He is hitting 10 home runs and driving in 27 runs, and he is on pace to hit only 20 home runs and driving in 70 RBIs.
This may not get better anytime soon for Werth.
He wasn’t exactly Mike Schmidt when he signed that contract. He was a nice player that did well by hitting with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. He had pitches to hit, and Citizens Bank Park was a home run haven for him to hit.
That isn’t going to be the case for Werth with the Nationals. Not when the lineup has raw hitters that are learning the game.
What the Nationals see is what they get out of Werth. He will hit decently, and that’s it. At least, he has done well as a fielder. He has a good feel of where the ball is going, and he does a good job of tracking it down for an out.
His defense doesn’t justify his salary, though. The Nationals paid him to be a home run hitter, and he hasn’t delivered.
Sadly, there’s a good chance he will never be. He wasn’t tearing the ball well when he was a Blue Jay and a Dodger. What he did there for both of those organizations is what he is doing as a National.
This is why it’s easy to question the organization about signing Werth for a seven-year contract. He will never be confused as a franchise player. That money was better allocated to sign Prince Fielder, who is a free agent after this season.
This couldn’t have been Mike Rizzo’s idea. He seems like the general manager who rather not overpay for anyone.
This comes down to the Lerner family. They have been in cahoots with superagent Scott Boras, which goes back when they signed Stephen Strasburg.
It seems whatever Boras wants, the Lerners will come through. They did that with the signing of Werth.
Now, they have him for six more years after this. Six long years.
There is no guarantee he will find his stroke back. Hitting can be mental. Once a player loses all his skills, he can never get it back. That might be the case with Werth.
Now, there’s still long ways to go, but Werth hasn’t showed signs that he can snap out of it anytime soon.
There’s no question this is wearing on him. He showed his frustration of striking out by throwing his helmet demonstratively the other day.
Maybe a trip to the disabled list can help him. Either that or Davey Johnson has to be a rah-rah guy for Werth to get his spirit back.
Already, fans are groaning about his performance in every game. Who can blame them?
This does not figure to be easy. Once a hitter is a slump, it takes a long time to get back. It may get to the point where a hitter doesn’t have it all.
The burden is tough for Werth, but it’s something that is for him to bear.