Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Werth now officially a Phillie...

...after the fastest physical known to man. Not surprisingly, Werth has a connection with Pat Gillick as the general manager drafted him while in Baltimore.

The following is a press release courtesy of the Phillies. For the signing's impact, read The Phanatic's take in the blog below.

Outfielder Jayson Werth signed a one-year contract with the Phillies, Vice President and General Manager Pat Gillick announced today.

Werth, 27, spent the 2006 season on the Dodgers' disabled list recovering from left wrist surgery. He last appeared in the major leagues in 2005, when he hit .234 with seven home runs and 43 RBI in 102 games. That season, Werth missed two months of playing time due to two separate stints on the disabled list.

"Jayson is a young outfielder with a combination of power and speed," said Gillick. "He's had some injuries over the past couple years, but we think he has tremendous athleticism and we're very happy to have him in a Phillies uniform. He's a great addition to the club."

In 2004, Werth hit .262 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI in only 89 games with the Dodgers. That year, he also went 4-for-14 (.286) with two home runs in the National League Division Series.

Werth was originally a first-round selection (22nd overall) by the Orioles in the 1997 draft when Gillick was Baltimore's General Manager. He has a career average of .245 with 25 home runs and 106 RBI in 232 games for the Blue Jays (2002-03) and Dodgers (2004-05). He has also stolen 17 bases in 20 attempts in his career.

"I'm looking forward to playing in Philadelphia," said Werth. "To be grouped in with a bunch of good young hitters, it feels like a great fit. I've heard a lot about the fans' passion and I'm excited to get going. Also, it meant a lot to be reunited with Mr. Gillick."

Defensively, Werth has made 96 career starts in left field, 65 in right field and 29 in center field. He has 14 career outfield assists in 215 games.

Werth is a third-generation major league player. His grandfather, Dick "Ducky" Schofield played in the major leagues for 19 years (1953-71) and his uncle, Dick Schofield, played for 14 years (1983-96). Also, Werth's stepfather, Dennis Werth, played four seasons in the majors (1979-82). His mother, Kim Schofield Werth, competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the long jump and 100 meters.

Born in Springfield, Ill., Werth still resides there and will wear uniform #28.

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