Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Werth Shows Good Signs In Leadoff Spot
The major change that stood out about the Nationals lineup was that left fielder Jayson Werth was moved to the leadoff spot after hitting as low as seventh over the weekend against the Giants. The Nats have been searching for consistency out of the leadoff spot since Denard Span has been out.
In the past, Werth has had success hitting out of the leadoff spot for the Nats. Back in 2012, he was batting leadoff in 38 games and hit .309 with two home runs and 12 RBI’s to go with a .388 on-base percentage. Plus, Werth told the media after the game that hitting lead-off could help him get back to form because he gets to see more pitches:
For example, last night, Werth saw 23 pitches in five at-bats and went 2-for-5 with three runs scored and a walk. On Sunday afternoon, he only saw 13 pitches in three at-bats out of the seventh spot and went 0-for-2 with a walk.
While Yunel Escobar is hitting .315 out of the leadoff spot this season, the Nats need his bat as protection for Bryce Harper. With Werth batting leadoff, he can work a seven or eight pitch at-bat early and help set the tempo because even with his struggles this season, his plate discipline hasn’t changed. This is a good decision by Williams, at least until Denard Span comes back. By the way, last night, Span went 2-for-3 with a run scored in his second rehab game and first with low-A Hagerstown.