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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 02/21/2011

Bryce Harper will play right field, Jayson Werth will see action in center

By Adam Kilgore

harper instructs.jpg

Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper are both main attractions during spring training for the Nationals, and they're both right fielders, too. This morning, Manager Jim Riggleman settled how they'll be used defensively this spring. The Nationals plan to give Werth some action in center field, while Harper will play almost only right, Riggleman said.

Since regulars don't travel every game in spring training, the Nationals will need someone to play center on days Nyjer Morgan stays home. Werth will be one of those players. Werth has started 80 games in center during his career, including 19 last year with the Phillies. Werth could see time in center this season if the Nationals choose to rest Morgan against left-handed starters.

"Jayson will get some innings in center," Riggleman said. "Not a lot, but he'll get some innings there. We're very comfortable that he can do that."

Bryce Harper, after converting from college catcher to professional right fielder in the fall, will his spring in right. Nationals officials had previously indicated Harper could also play center at some point in his career, but for now his focus will in right.

"Harper would probably get most of his action in right," Riggleman said. "If the need arises and we need to put him center for an inning or two, we'll do that. But predominantly, right field."

By Adam Kilgore  | February 21, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
 
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Next: Bryce Harper takes the field at Nationals spring training

Comments

>>Ramos isn't in the best shape one reason why he dropped a whole heck uv a lot of slots in Keith Law's top 100.
Posted by: periculum

Anyone else aware or read of this? Also does this mean the trade of Capps potentially becomes a bust?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | February 21, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

This is the first I had heard of Ramos being "out of shape" but I am positive that if there is something negative to be reported, skinsfan will be one of the first to jump on. I am wondering if you want the Nats to succeed or are you just happy to point out all the disappointments, which I agree are plentiful.
On the above post, I am pleased to see that they are making plans to "rest" Morgan against left-handers. Back in the day that would be called benching but there are egos involved. Maybe Brown will surprise and they can "rest" Morgan a little more permantly.
Excited to see the whole squad out there tomorrow. Also gained a little more respect for Livan after Boz's article. Still don't consider him a #1 but he is definitely going to take the ball every 5 games and most times will pitch deep into games.
Go Nats!!

Posted by: sjm3091 | February 21, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Ramos is 23... I would say he gets at least 2-3 years at this point to determine if he is a bust or not.

In any regards, I think trading a right-handed relief pitcher (even a good one) for a young up-the-middle talent is a great gamble. The dude has shown the ability to play on both sides of the ball. Depth at catcher is huge considering the grind that position puts players through. And Capps was removed from a genuine position of strength for the Nats, power right handed RPs (who would have thought the team actually has started to accrue some strengths... finally!)...

Anyway... would LOVE to see Werth in CF and Harper in RF... if Werth can handle the position on defense, that would be quite a power packed OF to look forward to one day... But, I would probably see the future as Werth in LF and Harper in RF, unfortunately... which leaves a hole in CF we still have to fill...

Posted by: Ghost7 | February 21, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't find any current reference to Ramos being out of shape in a quick google, but I too would like to know where that info comes from; lacking that, it's less than a rumor, hardly even scuttlebutt.
If it does turn out that Ramos reported to camp out of shape, that ain't good, but it ain't "ZOMG! The trade was a bust!!" either.

Posted by: Section3mysofa | February 21, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Capps wasn't really a big enough trade piece for it to be a "bust." And it's a good salary move no matter what happens.

But I think it's pretty early to write off Ramos.

Posted by: 202character | February 21, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Werth playing center in spring training puts some pressure on Nyjer to play well. It would be great if Werth could handle that spot, his bat in center would be a big plus and we could give Morse more time to see what he can do.

Posted by: 202character | February 21, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Werth has always been a spot starter in CF at best. They need a proper center fielder if the team is going to succeed.

Posted by: Section3mysofa | February 21, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It's not really center field that's the problem. Even if Harper were to have such an incredible spring that the Nats absolutely had to put him on the Opening Day roster...Werth could play center and Morgan could go home. But the Nats still wouldn't have a legit leadoff hitter. And that's their real problem, not center field.

Posted by: js_edit | February 21, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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