Werth Concerned Shoulder Surgery May Hurt Opposite Field Power

by Brian Tinsman
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Nationals' Jayson Werth beard

Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

VIERA, Fla. (CBSDC) – Offseason arthroscopic shoulder surgery for Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth may not affect his availability for Opening Day, but it could force mechanical adjustments for the 35-year-old.

Talking to 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier at Spring Training on Friday, Werth updated his status and expressed concerns at the plate.

“It’s a game of adjustments. You’re always tinkering and doing things to try and help yourself as much as you can,” he said. “My biggest concern is, am I going to have my opposite field pop? That’s one thing that’s really set me apart over my career. That’s one thing that I’m going to look at early on to gauge were I’m at and see how I’m driving the ball the other way.”

Some of Werth’s calling cards have been plate coverage and comfort driving the ball to all fields. One option to compensate for any decrease in strength could be altering his stance in the box.

“I’m not opposed to being upright or having my hands higher, having my hands lower [or] be more spread out. It’s a feel thing for me,” he explained. “If you look over the course of my career, I’ve had many different stances and ways to go about it.

“The important thing is where you are contact; I think that’s what it’s all about. Hopefully we can go back to being strong up there and driving the ball.”

Since his surgery on Jan. 9, Werth has expressed confidence that he’ll be ready to go against the New York Mets on Opening Day. While that remains a goal, Werth said he won’t rush the recovery process.

“[The shoulder is] not as close as I’d like. These things take time. There’s a process to go through and we’re going through it,” he said. “They say eight-12 weeks until you’re recovered and I’m about at eight weeks. Hopefully sooner than later, but everybody’s different and I’ve got to be smart.

“I can’t do something that sets us back. I want to get back as soon as possible.”

Listen to what Werth has to say about switching from right field to left field:



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