Nats 3B Zimmerman comes off DL, Werth heads there

The Washington Nationals placed outfielder Jayson Werth on the

15-day disabled list on Tuesday, a day after Werth underwent

surgery to repair his broken left wrist. Werth is expected to be

out at least 12 weeks, a huge blow to a team currently atop the NL

East.

”He’s been playing great,” manager Davey Johnson said. ”He’s

a team leader, swinging the bat good, doing everything good. We’re

going to miss him.”

Werth was hitting .276 with five doubles, three homers and 12

RBIs in 27 games with Washington before injuring the wrist while

trying to make a sliding catch against Philadelphia on Sunday

night.

The Nationals did get some good news on Tuesday, activating

third baseman Ryan Zimmerman from the DL. Zimmerman hasn’t played

since April 20 due to right shoulder inflammation.

Werth’s injury means rookie outfielder Bryce Harper will remain

with the team. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft will start

in Werth’s spot in right field on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh

Pirates. Harper is hitting .308 with five doubles in eight games

since making his major league debut on April 28.

The Nationals have survived despite a host of players making

their way to the disabled list in the season’s first month. Werth

joins relievers Brad Lidge, Drew Storen and Chieng-Ming Wang, first

baseman Mike Morse and third baseman Mark DeRosa on the DL.

”In all the years I’ve managed,” Johnson said, ”I’ve never

seen so many accidents or what have you to key players.”

Johnson isn’t sure how the outfield will look in Werth’s

absence. Roger Bernadina started in left field on Tuesday, though

it’s possible Xavier Nady will also see more time.

”They’re both quality players,” Johnson said. ”Nady is

getting close. So is Bernie, so we’ll see.”

Johnson has no plans to put infielder Steve Lombardozzi in the

outfield mix. Lombardozzi has made two appearances in the outfield

as a substitute.

”I have a math degree and you start putting three or four

variables in it, it’s hard to solve the equation,” Johnson said.

”Right now, with those two players, I’m looking for them to stand

up.”