Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jason Werth's Recovery Offers Possibilities for LA

Injured Dodgers OF Jayson Werth's recent follow-up wrist examination by surgeon Robert A. Berger at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., reveals that Werth's recovery going so well that he should be ready for action at the start of spring training. Since having his full-arm cast removed two months ago, Werth, 28, has been undergoing an intense rehabilitation program to restore normal function of his torn ultra-triquetral ligament in his left wrist.

Werth was severely hurt during spring training of 2005 by an A.J. Burnett fastball. The injury was aggravated by what some have described as a misdiagnosis or misinterpretation of X-ray and other tests. Resulting surgery by specialist Norman Zemel was unsuccessful, causing Werth to miss two successive seasons.

Werth had been a prized Dodgers prospect before the injury, having hit 16 homers in two seasons of limited play in a backup role. Though Werth has yet to hit for average, he shows excellent plate discipline and a good batter's eye in the mold of an Adam Dunn type slugger. Even with the departure of J.D. Drew, the Dodgers outfield picture remains crowded, with center fielder Juan Pierre the only name etched in stone. In addition to Werth, corner outfield candidates include Jason Repko, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.