ANAHEIM -- Jerry Hairston left Wednesday's game against the Angels in the fifth inning after a Dan Haren pitch struck him on the right hand. Hairston writhed in pain, even dropping to a knee at one point. He is listed as day to day with a contusion.
Manager Davey Johnson was initially concerned that the injury was more serious when he witnessed it from the dugout. An X-ray was taken, but Johnson hadn't heard the results yet.
"I thought for sure it was broken," Johnson said. "I thought it hit him in the smaller part of his wrist. He got hit in the fatter part of his hand."
First baseman Michael Morse took over Hairston's duties in right field, Alex Cora moved from shortstop to first and Ian Desmond came into the game to play short.
Hairston is hitting .260, with two home runs and 17 RBIs.
Nationals not worried about Werth
ANAHEIM -- Considering his struggles since joining the Nationals, every ball Jayson Werth strikes well enough for an extra-base hit probably makes him feel a little bit better than usual right now.
Werth is mired in what has so far been his worst campaign since becoming an everyday player. His current numbers of .224/.327/.329 are all well below his career averages of .267/.363/.472. Furthermore, he's on pace for his lowest totals in home runs and RBIs since 2007, when he played just 94 games.
Things got off to a good start in Tuesday's game against the Angels, as he slapped a ball to right field and legged out a first-inning double, only his third extra-base hit in his last 11 games. That success didn't carry over, though -- he went hitless the rest of the night, finding himself on base again only because of an error.
To make matters worse, he was also hampered by a hip pointer. Manager Davey Johnson said the situation wasn't serious enough to warrant pulling him out of the game, but it did lead to a day off from the starting lineup in Wednesday's series finale.
"I'm not waiting around hoping it loosens up and running him out there and have him pull a hamstring because of it," Johnson said.
Then again, maybe a day off is just what Werth needs to get things going. Regardless of what will inspire a turnaround, his teammates aren't concerned that it won't happen, and they praise the mind-set Werth has been able to maintain despite his struggles.
"You come in and you're around new people and a new environment, and its tough to get comfortable," Ryan Zimmerman said. "The great thing with him is, he never lets it affect anything in here or on the field. I think he's a professional. If he struggles, he's not going to let it bring anyone else down."
Zimmerman added that Werth "works too hard" to not be able to snap out of his funk, a sentiment Johnson echoed.
"He'll be all right," Johnson said. "He's so driven to succeed and do well and carry the ballclub. I'm not worried about it."
Romero could find spot in Washington's 'pen
ANAEHIM -- Washington's latest acquisition could eventually prove to be the answer to its search for an effective left-handed stopper out of the bullpen.
The Nationals inked veteran reliever J.C. Romero to a Minor League deal and assigned him to Triple-A Syracuse. Romero, a 35-year-old from Puerto Rico, was used most prominently as a setup man for Minnesota in the early 2000s before joining the Phillies in 2007. He passed through waivers last week and was released by Philadelphia after the club designated him for assignment on June 16.
Romero, who has been dealing with a calf injury this season, had a 3.86 ERA and three holds in 16 1/3 innings. His career ERA is 4.07.
"I don't know how long its going to take him, if he's been throwing or what his program has been," manager Davey Johnson said. "But we'll see how he goes."
Johnson will act accordingly once he receives a report on Romero from the organization's pitching coordinator, Spin Williams.
"I'm sure he'll give us a good report," Johnson said. "If he's throwing pretty good, I'm sure we'll try to find a spot for him."
And if Romero's effective enough to warrant a callup, he could help fill a crucial void. The Nationals' bullpen boasts just one lefty, Sean Burnett, but he's been less than effective this season, amassing an ERA of 5.27 and blowing five saves while working 27 1/3 innings.
"We've got some quality arms [in the bullpen], don't get me wrong," Johnson said. "I want a guy who can come in and get people out. Romero's done that. I think it's a great pickup."
Injury, illness bring changes to Nats' lineup
ANAHEIM -- A rash of minor injuries and a little bit of sickness contributed to a different-looking lineup for the Nationals' series finale with the Angels on Wednesday.
Usual suspects Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Wilson Ramos, Laynce Nix didn't start, with Brian Bixler, Alex Cora, Ivan Rodriguez and Jerry Hairston filling in for them, respectively. Hairston exited after taking a Dan Haren pitch to the hands.
Werth is dealing with a hip pointer, and Desmond has a quadriceps issue. Nix left Tuesday's game in the seventh inning after experiencing tightness in his Achilles tendon, something that bothered him previously.
"What you don't want to do is go out there and have one of the guys get hurt while they're a little under the weather and then you lose a bunch of guys," manager Davey Johnson said. "Especially this time of the year, I'm going to err on the safe side. You deal with 25 guys. If I don't give all the guys an opportunity to play, they're not going to be able to contribute."
Unlike Werth, Desmond and Nix, Ramos has a minor illness.
"He's got a cold or a flu or something," Johnson said. "I told him, 'Just don't talk to me.'"
Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.