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Posted at 10:51 AM ET, 07/19/2012

Rick Ankiel designated for assignment, Drew Storen activated, Ian Desmond out again

The Nationals lineup was posted Thursday morning: Reliever Drew Storen was listed on it and outfielder Rick Ankiel was not. In other words, Ankiel was designated for assignment to make room for Storen, who has yet to pitch this season because of elbow surgery. This now gives the Nationals an eight-man bullpen and only four players on the bench, though it’s essentially three as Ian Desmond is still dealing with a nagging oblique injury and is out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game.


Rick Ankiel (Greg Fiume - GETTY IMAGES)
The only left-handed hitter available is backup catcher Sandy Leon, a switch hitter who was also back with the team on Thursday, replacing Jhonathan Solano, who was placed on the disabled list. Ankiel is a somewhat surprising move because the Nationals valued him as a late-game defensive replacement. Recently, however, Manager Davey Johnson had been playing Roger Bernadina, who offers speed and a more consistent bat, over Ankiel.

This all means that the Nationals will have to make another tough decision soon, likely from the bullpen, to make room for injured infielder Chad Tracy, a valuable left-handed bat off the bench, who has been rehabbing and taking batting practice with the team.

The team has yet to announce any of these moves, but that is anticipated soon. The lineups are after the jump. The Nationals are facing knuckle baller R.A. Dickey.

Nationals

1. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B

2. Bryce Harper, RF

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Michael Morse, LF

6. Danny Espinosa, SS

7. Roger Bernadina, CF

8. Jesus Flores, C

9. Gio Gonzalez, SP

Mets

1. Ruben Tejada, SS

2. Andres Torres, CF

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Scott Hairston, RF

5. Jason Bay, LF

6. Ike Davis, 1B

7. Justin Turner, 2B

8. Josh Thole, C

9. R.A. Dickey, SP

By  |  10:51 AM ET, 07/19/2012

 
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