The Nationals, as expected, placed utility player Jerry Hairston on the 15-day disabled with a broken bone in his right wrist and replaced him by reinstating outfielder Rick Ankiel, who had been on the disabled with a strained intercostal (rib cage) muscle.
Hairston broke the bone in his wrist Wednesday when Angels starter Dan Haren drilled him with a 91-mph two-seam fastball. Nationals doctor expect Hairston to miss two to four weeks, but Hairston believes he can return more quickly.
“Knowing what I can and can’t do, I think I’d be hurting the team if I’d be out there playing,” said Hairston, who wore only a wrap, not a cast, on his wrist. “The main thing is just getting healthy, hopefully in two weeks. It broke in a good area to heal pretty quick.”
Ankiel returns from the disabled list the second time this season; he also missed three weeks in May with a sprained right wrist. Having fought injuries and irregular playing time (along with his typical proclivity for not drawing walks), Ankiel is hitting .204/.271/.276.
Ankiel will play in a bench role, Manager Davey Johnson said, with Roger Bernadina remaining in center.
“I like Rick,” Johnson said. “Basically, I’m going to keep Bernadina in center. He’s doing a good job, and I want to give him every chance to establish him as a big league ball player. He’s made great strides. So basically I’ll be using Rick as a fourth outfielder.”