In immediate need of a fully healthy outfielder, the Nationals placed center fielder Rick Ankiel on the disabled list, retroactive to May 3, the night he dove for a ball and sprained his right (non-throwing) wrist.
The Nationals have not officially recalled Roger Bernadina, but he will be added to the roster Saturday after getting pulled from Class AAA Syracuse’s game Friday in Durham in the fourth inning.
Ankiel, who is hitting .221 with a .302 on-base percentage and a .288 slugging percentage, received an MRI on his wrist Friday afternoon. The results came back negative, but he has not been able to take batting practice since hurting his wrist and the Nationals could not wait any longer for him to heal.
Friday night, they resorted to using Brian Bixler in left in the ninth inning. Bixler had two previous appearances in the majors as an outfielder, one of them coming Thursday night in Philadelphia.
“He just is not feeling well enough to hit, and we’re just so short-handed,” Riggleman said. “Morse is kind of limping around. We just can’t continue to go a man short. We just got to get a healthy body and let Rick Ankiel get healthy.”
This year, Bernadina is hitting .270 with a .352 on-base percentage and a .381 slugging percentage in Syracuse. The Nationals recalled him for two games while Ian Desmond was on paternity leave, and he went 2 for 3 in that brief appearance.
Since Ankile has not played since May 3, he is eligible to come off the disabled list May 19.