Jayson Werth takes batting practice on field, eyes rehab stint

Jayson Werth will help bolster the Washington lineup. (Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals are the best team in the National League, and they're about to get better.

Injured right field Jayson Werth took batting practice on the field Wednesday, and it sounds like he's not far off from rejoining the Nationals. At one point, Werth hit seven straight home runs (Washington Times). Yes, BP homers are easy for most major-league hitters, but it's a pretty good sign his wrist is feeling up to par.

“I think everyone is a little surprised,” Werth said (Washington Times). “I’m surprised, at least with how it felt in the last week. It’s come a long way. … It’s one of those things where, we’re not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re really good. We’re way ahead. I think everyone is really pleased, and I’m real excited.”

All indications the Nats have given reporters is that Werth will begin a rehab assignment Friday. Rehab stints are only permitted to last 20 days -- and most last fewer -- so Werth easily sounds less than a month from rejoining the Nationals.

Werth, 33, was hitting .276/.372/.439 with three homers, 12 RBI, 10 runs and three steals in 27 games when he broke his wrist in early May.

Also contained in the Times report: Relief pitcher Drew Storen is ready to rejoin the club, and it could happen as soon as Thursday.

Storen, 24, has missed all of the 2012 season after having surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. Last season, he saved 43 games in 48 chances with a 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings.

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CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last six World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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