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Ankiel to DL, Bernadina coming up

May 7, 2011, 3:32 AM EDT

The Nationals placed outfielder Rick Ankiel on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right wrist following tonight’s 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Marlins in Miami.

Ankiel hadn’t played since Monday, when he injured himself making a diving catch of Miguel Tejada’s sinking line drive at Nationals Park. Though X-rays and an MRI came back negative, the club decided the 31-year-old needed more time to heal. The DL move is retroactive to Tuesday, so he’ll be eligible to return as early as May 19.

Though the Nationals won’t announce a corresponding move until tomorrow, Roger Bernadina is expected to be recalled from Class AAA Syracuse. The outfielder was pulled from tonight’s game in Durham, N.C., during the fourth inning after going 0-for-2.

Bernadina, 26, spent two days on the Nationals’ roster last week when shortstop Ian Desmond went on paternity leave. He went 2-for-3 with a double.

With Ankiel now on the DL, Bernadina figures to see significant playing time in center field.

  1. Grandstander - May 7, 2011 at 4:19 AM

    Now comes the $500 question, where does he bat in the order?

  2. sjm308 - May 7, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    They might as well try him at lead-off. He was bunting in spring training, has good speed. I have no idea what his obp is but I think both Desmond and Espinosa were hurt by being forced to leadoff.Unfortunately, the way we are hitting we have no cleanup hitter so my guess isBernadinaEspinosaWerthLaRoche (ouch)RamosNixDesmondHairston/Cora (ouch)PitcherFeeling a sweep hereGo Nats

  3. Doc - May 7, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Time to bring Prince Oppo Boppo back from exile in the boonies—or at least move him up a couple of notches to Harrisburg.

  4. Mark'd - May 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    When the Nats put Bixler in LF last night in the 9th I had visions of the Guz in RF last year in Houston and luckily the ball didn't find him.This team can't play 3 men down and I am referring to Ankiel, Morse and Stairs. With The Flying Dutchman aka Sharkadina they ate still 2 short on the bench.

  5. NatsJack in Florida - May 7, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Mark'd…. don't worry about Bixler in left field. I watched him in early spring training playing the position and he's a better outfielder than Mike Morse.And we finally get Bernadina in CF, the position he's played his entire career until the last two seasons.

  6. masnstinks - May 7, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    It boggles my mind that Bernie has not been playing here because of a roster spot taken up by Matt Stairs. Ankiel will not be out long – if Bernie performs well, then what? – he gets sent back to AAA? An athletic defender with speed and some pop in his bat as opposed to someone who has one hit and does nothing else? Really? Especially with Morse dinged up – who are we running out there in the outfield? Have you seen some of the catches Bernie makes? Talk about a defensive replacement – he will need to stay here – no question.

  7. Mark'd - May 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    NatsJack, glad to hear that about Bixler. Love his hustle. The guy sprinted out to his position and hoping he shows us his bat while he is here.By the way, Werth played huge last night. Doesn't show up in the boxscore but he made Nolasco work hard last night and helped in Nix's at-bat.Also the Marlins had the #1 bullpen as of Wednesday and the Nats bullpen bested them Friday. How much better is the bullpen without Gaudin.

  8. Tim - May 7, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    @mark'd…Bixler in left… I said out loud when I saw him there, "Heads up. The ball's comin right to ya." I had the same vision. Whew! The baseball gods took pity on us.It's almost a given that Bernie will lead off. Then Desi, Werth, LaRoche, Ramos, Morse (he was given a clean MRI yesterday), Espi, Cora.Tonight, it'll be Espi in the 6 hole, Hairston in LF, and then Cora.

  9. Joe Seamhead - May 7, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    I agree that Bernadina belongs on this roster ahead of a couple of other guysRegarding Prince Oppo Boppo Harper, he has some pretty impressive rankings in his league: BA .368 ( 5th in the league), OPS 1,190 ( 1st),SLG .724 (1 st),OBP .466 2nd,RBI 23( tied for 2nd), HR 7 (tied for 2nd), doubles (10 tied for 2nd). He also had 2 OF assists last night. His overall defense is getting rave reviews. I'd like to see him play in the league all- star game and then move up.Skip Potomac, next stop Harrisburg.I honestly think if it's a baseball, and someone is throwing it to him, this kid is going to hit it.

  10. Joe Seamhead - May 7, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    I agree that Bernadina belongs on this roster ahead of a couple of other guysRegarding Prince Oppo Boppo Harper, he has some pretty impressive rankings in his league: BA .368 ( 5th in the league), OPS 1,190 ( 1st),SLG .724 (1 st),OBP .466 2nd,RBI 23( tied for 2nd), HR 7 (tied for 2nd), doubles (10 tied for 2nd). He also had 2 OF assists last night. His overall defense is getting rave reviews. I'd like to see him play in the league all- star game and then move up.Skip Potomac, next stop Harrisburg.I honestly think if it's a baseball, and someone is throwing it to him, this kid is going to hit it.

  11. TimDz - May 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Joe S: don't you think a jump from low A ball to AA ball is a bit risky? The kid is talented, but I don't see the Nats brain trust taking such a risk…

  12. Joe Seamhead - May 7, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    TimDz said…Joe S: don't you think a jump from low A ball to AA ball is a bit risky? The kid is talented, but I don't see the Nats brain trust taking such a risk…May 7, 2011 9:45 AM Honestly, no I don't see much risk. This kid Is an exception to many rules. I thought that the Nats did the right thing in sending him to low A to begin with so as he wouldn't be overwhelmed. Now, he's gotten his feet wet, he knows, and we know, he isn't going to drown. There's little to be gained for him in A ball.. Accelerate his move up to face better curves, splitters and change ups. From an OF point of view, there's still much to learn, but that can also take place just as well in AA.

  13. dcusimano123 - May 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Bryce Harper is the second best outfielder in the organization right now. Keeping him in Hagerstown is serving no purpose – push him higher and higher.

  14. TimDz - May 7, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    I agree that low A is proving to be little of a challenge to Harper, but moving him to Potomac makes more sense..IMO, of course, uneducated as it may be…

  15. masnstinks - May 7, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Please don't skip Potomac with BH — it's the only place close enough for us all to go see him!!I think our local fan-base would love to be able to pop down to PW county and watch him play. That organization will be very depressed if they are skipped – they are planning on selling lots of tickets and food during his short time there. Is the skill level that much different from low to high a? Seems like the real change is from 1 A to 2 A.

  16. AD - May 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    For all the hype, Harper had 7 hits in spring training-all in late innings when the first line pitchers had been pulled, and 13 in the AFL, also after the first liners had been pulled. Now, he's got 32 hits against low-A pitchers, mostly with fewer than 20 innings of experience. If they throw him in over his level, the pitchers are going to carve him up like a turkey, and destroy his confidence. He'll be here, but not this season or next. Give him a chance to develop in comfort before he's thrown to the wolves.AD

  17. JaneB - May 7, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Once we get Bernie back, they need to let go Stairs to keep him here. He'll play almost everyday in C or L. I LOVE Michael Morse and maybe he really is better off the bench. Maybe he just is. I'm sorry Rick is hurt; not just because, you know, he's a human being, but because his defense is jaw-dropping sometimes. One of those Fish runs last night doesn't happen if he's playing, because they wouldn't take the chance of running on him.As for Prince OppoBoppo — I'll be so glad when he gets here, whenever that is. But if these guys (Rizzo and the Lerners) (and Riggleman) see the gaping hole in our lineup and still swear feeling hitterish isn't the same in the Bigs as it is in the minors, I'll take their word for it.

  18. phil dunn - May 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Ankiel was good defensively buy he couldn't hit a lick. The team's challenged offense can't carry him so Bernadina is an upgrade that position.

  19. Ernie - May 7, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    I'm thinking about Bernie being picked off at second to end that rally against the Mets last year, flailing at curve balls all season, and hoping that you're right Phil. I want the guy to do well but last year he still seemed like a minor leaguer. We're all hoping for the same progress…

  20. Grandstander - May 7, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Harper isn't skipping Potomac. Not a chance, no way, not even in the discussion. If he was skipping anywhere, it would have been Hagerstown. I think he ends the season at Potomac. Probably gets the promotion in a month or so.Rizzo et al. made it perfectly clear they wanted him to take his time and get acclimated to professional baseball and playing a long season. They're not going to rush an 18 year old kid up to face the best pitching prospects in baseball.

  21. NatinBeantown - May 7, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    JaneB,That's one of the most NatsInsider jargony posts I've seen. Love it.And completely agree, btw.

  22. bdrube - May 7, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Harper will definitely be in Potomac. It makes sense from a development standpoint and it will juice the P-Nats' attendance. If he continues to dominate he will no doubt be at Harrisburg by August.

  23. natsfan1a - May 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Had a feeling upon watching the Ankiel catches before he went down. Will miss his arm out there, but also hope that Bernadina will fill in ably.Went to bed early, with a tie game, after setting the DVR to record. Imagine my (pleasant) surprise on waking and checking my email to find an alert notifying me that the Nats had beat the Marlins in extra innings. Despite the offensive woes, I like the way this team has been hanging in with extra innings games – that's an improvement from last year, I think.

  24. Oldguy - May 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    One more reason for Harper to go to PNats. As good as he is, he will never be a one-man team. Some of those guys at Potomac will be his teammates someday, and having Harper skip over them would not be helpful in the long run.(Besides, I live 10 minutes from the stadium!)

  25. natsfan1a - May 7, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Good point, Oldguy. (Plus, I live about 30 minutes from the Pfitz. ;-))

  26. Doc - May 7, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Just made a cursory check of the short relief guys in MLB. Both Clip, and to a lesser degree Stor, are pitching more than their comparitives on other teams.Since we want Clip and Stor to be part of our future, it's time that we either work the current BP into more games or we call up Kimball and BallyStar, and get HRod into more end of game situations.True Clip does better with a degree more work, but there's a limit. It seems that the Nats may be going against the future time table by over-utilizing these guys at the expense of more promising seasons.

  27. Grandstander - May 7, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    For those curious, the Nats have struck out 249 times and managed only 233 hits.

  28. CBinDC - May 7, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Grandstander said… For those curious, the Nats have struck out 249 times and managed only 233 hits."They say it can't be done …but that don't always workout"

  29. sjm308 - May 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    I have now come around to the fact that Stairs is someone who is actually hurting the club. I guessed that with everyone healthy we would not need as many position players but with the injuries and our lack of hitting Bernadina needs to stay when Ankiel heals. I worry about Bernadina because last year he honestly looked lost at the plate at times. He can play both CF and LF though and has speed. That pickoff at the end of the year is still in my mind but hopefully he has grown. Still looking for that sweep and want to see more of HRod to go with our other 3. When do you guys see Kimball coming up? Can you have too many guys in the bullpen? I don't think so. Can't sweep if we don't win the 2nd game!!Go Nats

  30. Cwj - May 7, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Doc- I pretty much agree. But remember that Clippard is a former starter and has zero history (that I know) of arm trouble. Just a great rubber arm.HRod figures into the mix. Balester is greatly underestimated I believe. Another ex-starter with good velocity.Bullpen ERA is now 2.99 but that INCLUDES Gaudin and Coffey. Clippard, Rodriguez, Burnett, Balester and Storen make for a very formidable bullpen.

  31. NatsJack in Floida - May 7, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    I see fiery Buck Showalter's got the Bird's performing well below their collective abilities before the home folks again. 8 – 1 Rays in the bottom of the 8th.

  32. BinM - May 7, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    @NatsJack – No, that's about where they should be when their starters mess up early. Good rotation, aging lineup, crappy bullpen.

  33. sjm308 - May 8, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    But wait, we have the horrific Riggs and the O's have the miracle worker Buck and now it seems that the Orioles will once again finish below .500 while we scrap our way towards that same mark. I don't understand, I thought the manager was worth at least 30 or 40 games a year. Guess I was misinformed. We might have found our leadoff guygo nats

  34. sjm308 - May 8, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    Nice win, did not realize for some time that the Marlins only had two hits. Two nice outings in a row for TG. Have to think we cannot be calling him our #5 starter although now that we are into the season the #ing of starters really isn't important.Don't want to be looking towards next year because I still think we can hang around the wild card race but we sure look like we are going to have quite the competition for our starting 5 next year and how good will that bullpen be? Time for that extra glass of Port!!!!Go Nats

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