Jayson Werth Has Led The Charge To The Nationals Fringe Playoff Chance

The Nationals have been compiling a bunch of Curly W's lately.  The team now sits at 77 - 69, and have an outside chance to put a scare into the Reds by only having a 5.5 Games Deficit for the 2nd Wild Card Slot.  Washington has a 10 Game Home stand starting tonight vs PHI (3 gms), ATL (4 gms) + MIA (3 Games)

The Nationals have been compiling a bunch of Curly W’s lately. The team now sits at 77 – 69, and have an outside chance to put a scare into the Reds by only having a 5.5 Games Deficit for the 2nd Wild Card Slot. Washington has a 10 Game Home stand starting tonight vs PHI (3 gms), ATL (4 gms) + MIA (3 Games).  The team will probably have to win 9 games, as then they head on the road for their last 6 games @ STL (3 Games) and ARI (3 Games), and will likely need 4 more wins there. If they go 13 – 3 in their last 16, then they better hope the Reds go 7 -8 (or worse) to force a playoff game.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

 

Back when Werth signed a seven year $126 million contract to come to Washington, one of the biggest criticisms was that he wasn’t a middle of the order bat. That he only succeeded in the Phillies line-up because he had Utley and Howard batting in front of him.

In the first year of the contract that appeared to be the case as Werth batted a disappointing .232/.330/.719, and looked more like a bottom of the order bat than anything else.

2012 saw Werth injure his wrist early on, return as the lead-off hitter, and do an excellent job in getting on base, but the power wasn’t there as he had an ISO of only .140. His lowest since 2005.

Jayson Werth Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

Jayson Werth is currently leading the NL in OPS with a .940 clip.  He Slash line reads .324/.398/.940 - with 23 HRs and 71 RBI in just 114 GP.  Werth has been on fire in the 2nd half, posting OPS's of 1.072 in July, 1.087 in August, and is 1.030 so far in Sept.  Since the ALL - Star Break, the slugger has hit .359/.441/1.082 - with 13 HRs, 65 Hits and 38 RBI in 50 GP.  Werth has earned his paycheque in 2013, and has asserted himself as a bonafide middle of the order bat again.

Jayson Werth is currently leading the NL in OPS with a .940 clip. He Slash line reads .324/.398/.940 – with 23 HRs and 71 RBI in just 114 GP. Werth has been on fire in the 2nd half, posting OPS’s of 1.072 in July, 1.087 in August, and is 1.030 so far in Sept. Since the ALL – Star Break, the slugger has hit .359/.441/1.082 – with 13 HRs, 65 Hits and 38 RBI in 50 GP. Werth has earned his paycheque in 2013, and has asserted himself as a bonafide middle of the order bat again.  If the Nats can ride up to a playoff spot, or just near, Werth should garner some discussion towards the NL MVP.  He is in the 3rd year, of a 7 YR/$126 MIL contract, to which he is still owed $83 MIL over the next 4 years.

Coming into 2013 it was unknown how Werth’s wrist would heal and what kind of player he would be. At the start of the season he was batting second and hit .260/.308/.708 before hitting the DL in early May.

It wouldn’t be until a month later that Werth returned but since that point he has carried the Nats offense batting .348/.426/1.016 and helping the Nationals to average close to 4.5 runs a game. Much higher than the 3.5 they averaged without him in the line-up.

Werth has been the catalyst for the Nats offense that few ever thought he could be and he is the reason the team is sitting only six games back of the Reds for the second Wild Card than in a much worse position.

His NL leading OPS has carried the Nationals and in his quest for a batting title he almost has the Nationals back in the playoff race.

As stated in the 1st Picture Caption The Nats will be hard pressed to track down the Reds, (who have 6 games left vs PIT, 3 vs NYM, 3 vs MIL and 3 vs HOU,) but they can at least make sure the Reds post a winning record in their last 15 games, by going 13 – 3 themselves.

It has been an impressive season for Werth, but he is 34 years old and this might be the high point of his career as a National.

That should be fine though. When Werth was signed he was never thought to have a chance to be the team’s best player, and by fWAR he hasn’t been this season, but he is currently leading the Nationals in OPS and has been an offensive force while others have had disappointing seasons. In April when Harper hit .344/.430/.1.050.

They were unsustainable numbers but it looked like Harper was going to have a season worthy of MVP talk and would be the big middle of the order bat most thought the Nationals lacked, but then Harper leaped at the wall to catch a Tim Hudson homerun and injured his ribs.

Since May 1 Harper missed a month on the DL due to a knee injury and has hit .248/.358/.783. Good numbers for a second year player that is only 20 years old, but not middle of the order numbers.

Luckily for the Nationals Jayson Werth stepped up. His second half has been nothing but remarkable and he should receive some down the ballot votes for MVP.

If the Nationals do turn it on and go on a real special run to close out the season he could receive more than that. Jayson Werth’s 2013 has been one of the best season’s Nationals fans have witnessed.

His single season OPS of .945 (heading into action on Sept.12/2013) is the highest Nationals fans have seen since Nick Johnson post an OPS of .948 in 2006, which happened to be overshadowed by Alfonso Soriano‘s 40/40 season where he had a .911 OPS.

With all things considered this might be the single best offensive season Nats fans have seen as the MLB average OPS in 2006 was .768 and it is .716 for 2013.

Werth has been a great asset for the Nationals, a true middle of the order bat, and a player that has kept a disappointing season from becoming embarrassing.

It is doubtful that Werth can repeat this type of season, but he was never thought to be this type of player in the first place and the wrist injury raised even more questions.

Jayson Werth has overcome a lot in his baseball career and if he can get some help from someone like Bryce Harper in 2014 he may not have to be this good.

One way or another Nationals fans should appreciate watching Jayson Werth in 2013. He is after all having the finest offensive season of any Washington National and by OPS anyone in the National League.

Washington will have a long offseason if they are unable to make a miracle run to a postseason birth this campaign, however their play of late can at least calm everyone down to the fact that don't need to blow up the team.  This team is greatly positioned for the next several years.  In the end, this will be a steep learning curve that could benefit them down the road.  The Nationals have won 6 games in a row, and 9 of 11 in September.  They were also 16 - 11 in August.  The 25 - 13 record over the last 38 games played is more indicative of where this team's talent lies.

Washington will have a long offseason if they are unable to make a miracle run to a postseason birth this campaign, however their play of late can at least calm everyone down to the fact that don’t need to blow up the team. This franchise  is greatly positioned for the next several years. In the end, this will be a steep learning curve that could benefit them down the road. The Nationals have won 6 games in a row, and 9 of 11 in September. They were also 16 – 11 in August. The 25 – 13 record over the last 38 games played is more indicative of where this team’s talent lies.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Nationals Correspondent’ David Huzzard for preparing today’s featured article.  David  is a Pro bono sports writer for Citizens of Natstown, We Love DC, and Blown Save Win.

He is also the Co-host of The Citizens of Natstown Podcast.  David is from Fairfax, Va.  You can follow him on Twitter and talk about the game of baseball.  

a    david huzzard

Don’t forget to also follow the Citizens of Natstown on Twitter too.  

MLB Reports has teamed up with Citizens of Natstown – to deliver the best Nats coverage we can to as many readers possible.  


a     citizens of natstown

Visit the links for their 1st annual Citizens of Natstown Book:

Barnes and Noble Link here

Amazon Link here

Apple/ITunes Link here

For just $3 – you will receive all the information to go ahead on the 2013 season to your favorite reading device -plus reflect on a 98 Win year in 2012.  Don’t forget to bring your #Natitude! – #LetTeddyWinin2013 and rock #Natstown!

Please e-mail us atmlbeports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Like us on Facebook here

About these ads

About MLB reports

24/7 MLB talk, news, and reports: If baseball is your passion, this site is for you! Follow us on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/MLBreports

Posted on September 13, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,707 other followers

%d bloggers like this: