WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17: Center fielder Rick Ankiel #43 of the Washington Nationals catches a double hit a by Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers off the wall during the fourth inning of the second game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on April 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
With Jerry Hairston to miss anywhere from two to four weeks with a fracture in his right wrist, the result of a HBP during the series finale in Anaheim, the Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that they'd placed the IF/OF on the 15-Day DL. To take Hairston's place on the roster, the Nats' re-instated left-handed hitting outfielder Rick Ankiel from the DL and recalled the 31-year-old outfielder from Triple-A Syracuse where he'd been rehabbing a strained intercostal muscle after suffering the injury on a play in the outfield in the second week of June.
Before the injury, Ankiel had a .204/.271/.276 slash line with eight doubles and one HR in 48 games and 168 plate appearances. Ankiel played just two games with Triple-A Syracuse, going 1 for 7 with a double, a walk and two K's. Ankiel joins what is once again a predominantly left-handed center and left field corps alongside Jayson Werth in right with Laynce Nix and Roger Bernadina. With Hairston out, right-handed Brian Bixler is the only option in left field for the Nationals other than the lefties if they plan on keeping Michael Morse at first base.
Hairston, hit by a Dan Haren fastball, suffered what was later diagnosed as a fracture of his wrist. The shadows cast over the field during the late afternoon affair in Anaheim were to blame for Hairston's injury according to the 35-year-old, 14-year veteran, who has a .260/.335/.352 slash in 69 games and 219 plate appearances this year.
With Laynce Nix's achilles tendon acting up, Ankiel struggling this season, Hairston hurt and some members of the front office convinced (according to report after report) that Roger Bernadina is a corner or fourth outfielder ideally, it's going to interesting to see if D.C. GM Mike Rizzo is now forced to go after the leadoff man/center fielder he's been rumored to be looking for for some time now. 30 days and counting til the Non-Waiver deadline...Sunday July 31st, 2011.