March 07, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Rick Ankiel (24) at the plate during the spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
While Nats' skipper Davey Johnson was making headlines by admitting to reporters that he was actually "a little concerned" about the state of injured outfielder Rick Ankiel's slow-to-heal quad, the Washington Nationals announced via their Twitter account @NationalsPR that the team, "... today selected OF Rick Ankiel to the 40-man roster." The 32-year-old Ankiel ended up in center more often than any of the Nats' other outfield options last year, and the Nationals, after a searching for a center fielder/leadoff man this winter, decided to bring Ankiel back on a minor league deal. In his ninth major league season, Ankiel had a .239/.296/.363 line in 2011 with 20 doubles and nine HR's and he was worth +1.2 fWAR over 122 games and 415 plate appearances...
NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman reported on Twitter (@MarkZuckerman) this afternoon that Davey Johnson's concerned about the possibility of Ankiel being ready for Opening Day, adding that if he's not, "[Roger] Bernadina would be in CF, but until he returns, it's [Jayson] Werth." Bernadina, sadly, is currently in Curacao attending his father's funeral, but he's expected back relatively soon. Also expected to return to the Nationals soon is Bryce Harper, who could shake things up in the outfield whenever the Nationals decide to bring him up to the majors with all things (development, service time, future free agency, etc.) taken into consideration, but sooner or later the 19-year-old is likely going to force the Nats' hand, and when he does there will be some roster decisions to make.
For now, however, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told reporters this afternoon, (including the aforementioned Mr. Zuckerman) that he doesn't expect there to be any other changes to the roster. "'Barring something out of the ordinary,'" Rizzo said, "'I think you're looking at the 25-man roster from inside this camp.'"