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Nationals roster review: Jayson Werth


Nationals roster review: Jayson Werth

Age on Opening Day 2016: 36

How acquired: Free agent, Dec. 2010

MLB service time: 12 years, 102 days

2015 salary+bonuses: $21 million

Contract status: Signed for $21 million in 2016, $21 million in 2017, free agent in 2018

2015 stats: 88 G, 378 PA, 51 R, 73 H, 16 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 41 RBI, 1 SB, 38 BB, 84 SO, .221 AVG, .302 OBP, .384 SLG, .685 OPS, 2 E, -6.7 UZR, -1.6 WAR

2015 analysis: Jayson Werth was already behind the 8-ball when the season began, stuck on the DL while recovering from offseason right shoulder surgery. He pushed himself to return only one week in, and not surprisingly it took him plenty of time to get into full-season mode.

Then came another setback: A May 15 fastball from San Diego's Odrisamer Despaigne that drilled Werth in the wrist and fractured it. It took 2 1/2 months to return from that injury, and once again it took even longer for Werth to get his swing together. On August 18, his batting average sat at a minuscule .184, his OPS at .531.

A surprising change of roles — up to the leadoff spot — temporarily turned Werth around, and for a couple of weeks he was as productive as any hitter in baseball. But that resurrection was short-lived. And by season's end, Werth had posted his worst numbers since becoming a full-time big leaguer in 2004.

2016 outlook: From the day he signed his 7-year, $126 million contract, there has been one question looming over Werth: How many good years did he still have in him, and how many years would the Nationals still be paying him after he crossed that threshold? The events of this season certainly leave you wondering if that point of no return has finally come, but we won't know for certain until we see him back on the field in 2016.

It's possible Werth's miserable 2015 was a direct result of injuries. But it would be foolish simply to assume that. He's going to turn 37 in May, and his decline in power and range in the outfield in particular are a significant concern.

Werth has always been something of a unique ballplayer, a late bloomer who has defied conventions plenty of times during his career. If he can keep himself healthy, perhaps he does have a bounce-back season in him. The Nationals, though, need to start preparing for a fallback plan in case that isn't the case and Werth's best days indeed are behind him.

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.