Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Washington Nationals intend to use Jayson Werth in CF on days that Nyjer Morgan sits. The move could be made if they choose to rest Morgan against left-handed pitching during the regular season.
In turn, during Spring Training, Bryce Harper will be seeing time almost exclusively in right field meaning the combination of Werth in CF with Harper in RF is something the Nationals are seriously considering for the future.
The team indicated that they were open to the idea of Werth seeing time in CF, pointing out that he has started 80 games in CF during his career; 19 last year with the Philadelphia Phillies in the absence of Shane Victorino.
“Jayson (Werth) will get some innings in center,” says Nationals manager Jim Riggleman. “Not a lot, but he’ll get some innings there. We’re very comfortable that he can do that.”
Riggleman also said that the organization could see Harper, a catcher who was converted to an outfielder upon being drafted last year, as seeing time in center field later in his career as well.
“Harper would probably get most of his action in right,” Riggleman said. “If the need arises and we need to put him in center for an inning or two, we’ll do that. But predominantly, right field.”
Werth is ideally suited for a corner outfield position. He has above average speed at best with a strong arm, but knowing he can play center in a pinch is reassuring for the depth of the roster. Harper, who has plus speed, could move to CF in the future, but everyone is excited to see what this kid can do in his first major league Spring Training.