Washington Nationals: 5 to watch against San Diego

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May 24, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Koda Glover (30) celebrates with catcher Matt Wieters (32) after recording the final out against the Seattle Mariners at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Koda Glover (30) celebrates with catcher Matt Wieters (32) after recording the final out against the Seattle Mariners at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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JAYSON WERTH

Lost in the resurgence of Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper is the magic year by Jayson Werth.

Expected to hit near the bottom of the order at the start of the year, Werth bumped to the top when Adam Eaton tore his ACL. Instead of riding off into the sunset in the last year of his contract, Werth is shining.

His slash line of .279/.384/.463 are close to his wonderful 2014 numbers. At 38, his .847 OPS adjusts to 122 or 22 percent above league average.

As good as those numbers are, and the seven homers with solid defense, Werth’s ability to take pitches while protecting the strike zone are essential. In 38 games, heading into Thursday, he drew 22 walks.

If Trea Turner relaxes and turns into an on-base machine again, Werth’s ability to grind out long at-bats gives the speedster ample opportunities to steal bases. Those are runs waiting to happen.

He is healthy, promotes organic farming and is having fun. When the Nats needed a presence at the top of the order after Eaton went down, Werth delivered. Batting second, he is slashing .308/.423/.523. That is an OPS of .946!

Against San Diego last year, he went 6-for-24 with a dinger and two RBI.

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