The fan, identified only by his first name, Pat, said during a radio interview on 97.5 The Fanatic that he was simply trying to protect his 10-year-old son from being hit by the baseball.
"If I don't catch it, it's hitting him in the head," Pat said. "I wasn't even thinking about Werth."
According to the fan, Werth told him to "get out of my [expletive] way."
"He shouldn't have said that in front of my son," Pat said. "He's a huge Phillies fan, and Werth is one of the ones he really likes. He has been pretty quiet about it. I talked to him about it, but he isn't saying too much."
Werth said he was caught up in trying to win a close game.
"Honestly, in the heat of the moment and the situation that goes on on the field, I'm definitely in a different mind-set than I would be in a normal setting," he said. "I don't think I would have yelled at anybody like that if that wasn't the case. We had the game on the line. If a guy comes up and hits a home run on the next pitch, I think it's a pretty big deal.
"Obviously I feel bad for the guy and the kid and the people that were sitting around there. It was definitely out of character a little bit. I don't feel bad about playing hard and going after balls in the stands and stuff like that. It's just one of those deals. It is part of the game."
Werth said he had not spoken to the fan. He was asked when he realized that it was a big issue.
"I may have not still realized that," he said. "I'm assuming people are upset, but to me it was just something that happened and I moved on right after."
Trade rumors with Werth's name attached surfaced early in the day Friday. A New York Post report said the New York Yankees, Boston, and Tampa Bay have all inquired about Werth. There was also a report that suggested that Werth could be dealt to the Yankees for veteran pitcher Javier Vazquez. That deal was floated as a chain reaction of events predicated on Cliff Lee being traded from Seattle to the Yankees. Lee, of course, ended up being sent to the Texas Rangers instead.
"It's part of the game," Werth said when asked about the trade talk. "If something like that happens, I'll find out about it and I'll deal with it then. Right now my focus is playing baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies . . . and winning ball games."
Second baseman Wilson Valdez was scratched from the starting lineup with a sore left wrist. Juan Castro started at second base instead. . . . Catcher Carlos Ruiz, on the disabled list since June 19, is expected to be activated before Saturday's game against the Reds. Ruiz completed his rehab assignment by serving as the designated hitter for single-A Lakewood on Friday.
Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577