The Nationals removed center fielder Rick Ankiel after three innings in their 3-1 loss to the Marlins today “just as a precaution,” Manager Davey Johnson said. Ankiel felt discomfort in his left quadriceps, which had been bothering him for the past week or so, but the Nationals do not consider it any kind of setback.
Johnson said Ankiel didn’t know if he felt soreness or tightness in his quad. The soreness would have come from the Nationals’ training staff working on the muscle.
“He’s been getting a ton of treatment,” Johnson said. “They just dig and dig.”
Johnson had already planned to sit Ankiel for tomorrow’s game, with the Mets scheduled to start a left-handed pitcher. Johnson expects him to return Thursday.
While Ankiel has dealt with the injury, Roger Bernadina has applied some pressure for the center field job. Bernadina dropped a perfect bunt single and later roped an RBI to right field. He has seven hits, including two home runs, in his last nine at-bats.