VIERA, Fla. -- With Denard Span playing center field this year, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said Bryce Harper should start the season in left.
Harper spent most of last season in center and led the team with eight outfield assists. But Werth feels that Harper needs more experience in the outfield before moving to right field. Werth pointed that Harper has played the outfield only two years. Harper has spent most of his playing days as a catcher.
Werth did not say what Harper needed to improve on, but the veteran said there is more responsibility playing right field. Werth should know what he is talking about. He started his professional career as a catcher, but later moved to left field.
"There is an experience factor playing the outfield, and left is where you can get by with the least amount of experience. That's where Bryce is right now," Werth said. "He is an inexperienced big league outfielder. It's not any knock on his ability by any means.
"He is talented. He is a very good outfielder, but as time goes on, he will be even better. This could happen fairly quickly. He could progress at a relatively quick rate like he does everything else. … It's more up to him than it does me. I'm not standing in his way by any means."
It's not a secret that Harper has to learn to hit the cutoff man more often. Harper's routes to the ball can sometimes be shaky. In fact, manager Davey Johnson said he plans to have Harper work on hitting the cutoff man during spring drills.