Checkout some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:
Werth: ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish’
Since outfielder Jayson Werth signed a seven-year, $126 million contract in December 2010, the Nationals have been a competitive team. The team won a National League East title in 2012, and has been considered a World Series contender at the beginning of each of the last two seasons.
MLB.com caught up with Werth on Sunday and Monday to talk about the Nationals.
MLB.com: What do you think of the Nationals’ start? I think a lot of experts thought the team would be one of the best in baseball.
Jayson Werth: I would say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. I’ve always felt that way. It’s always been my mantra. You can’t really put too much weight on what happens in the first half [of the season], because what happens in the second half is where you make your season.
With that said, you have to give yourself a chance in the first half, and I think we are playing great. We are still a young team, so there is some learning aspects going on, but that’s every year. I like the direction of the team, as a whole. We have a new manager, so that plays into it.
Overall, I’m happy with the start, the way we are playing. We have a lot of come-from-behind wins, which is good. As the season goes on, you can build on those things. Those are tangible assets. I don’t know what people were expecting. I’m really focused on myself, talking care of my area, and just playing baseball. So far, I think we have succeeded. Read full interview here.
Hairston on track for Triple-A rehab assignment
WASHINGTON — Nationals outfielder Scott Hairston, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, will play two extended spring games in Viera, Fla., starting Monday.
If thing go well, Hairston will go to Triple-A Syracuse and start his rehab assignment later in the week. He is expected to play a few games for Syracuse before being activated from the DL.
“It’s kind of like how I feel. I’ll gradually play more games. If there is something wrong, then they will shut me down and re-evaluate,” Hairston said. Read full article here.
Nationals have options to replace Harper
The Nationals placed wunderkind Bryce Harper on the 15-day DL with a thumb injury on Sunday, the team announced. He hurt himself sliding head-first into third base on Friday night.
Initial X-rays came back negative and the team seemed to downplay long-term concern. On Monday, however, it was revealed that Harper will need surgery and is out until July. This is obviously a big blow to the team.
Harper, 21, has hit .289/.352/.422 (118 OPS+) with one home run in 22 games around the thumb and a quad injury this year. He hit .274/.368/.486 (135 OPS+) with 20 homers in 118 games while dealing with a knee injury in 2013. Despite manager Matt Williams‘ complaints, Harper hurt the thumb and knee because he plays so hard and recklessly.
Anyway, the Nationals figure to use Nate McLouth on an everyday basis while Harper is on the DL. If Harper is going to be out for months rather than weeks, they might find themselves looking for another outfielder at some point this summer. Here are the team’s options if he does miss an extended amount of time. Read full article here.