Nationals Overloaded In The Outfield

Nats centerfielder Rick Ankiel may not be able to return to action when he's able to come off the disabled list next week.  From the standpoint of delaying decisions, that might be a good thing, writes Ben Goessling of

Roger Bernadina has filled in at leadoff hitter and center fielder, and manager Jim Riggleman says that he'd like to keep it that way.  If he remains in that role, it would leave Ankiel, Laynce Nix and Michael Morse to fight over playing time in left. 

Other than optioning Bernadina back to Triple-A Syracuse, the club won't have many ways to fit everyone in.  Riggleman says that the club will figure things out when Ankiel is healthy, a point that could be approaching soon.

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10 Comments on "Nationals Overloaded In The Outfield"

4 years 3 months ago

 I like Rick Ankiel. He’s a solid defender with the best arm in the majors who can hit for some power.

4 years 3 months ago

Ankiel’s arm in left…  Intriguing. 

4 years 3 months ago

Here’s what Riggleman should do, of course, he’s the worst manager in the majors so he’ll do something else but…

Nix in LF- Hottest hitter on the team, and the Nationals need all the offense help they can get until Zim returns.

Bernadina in CF- Great defender, decent hitter, and excellent base runner. Gives the Nationals another potential lead-off man.

Werth in RF- Goes without saying.

Use Ankiel as a late-inning defensive replacement/ 4th outfielder.

Use Morse as a PH against Lefties until he shows some resemblance of last year

4 years 3 months ago

I hear the Nats have this kid down in Low-A that’s pretty decent too…

4 years 3 months ago

Yup, and he shouldn’t see the majors until next year.

kräftig. entschieden
4 years 3 months ago

If by next year, you mean, “maybe September of next year”.

4 years 3 months ago

 I agree that the Nats have a lot of outfielders, but I look at who they are, and I think right away they probably need to get a few BETTER outfielders.  I’m talking all around play.  They have streaky guys, guys that might be nice as part of a platoon, guys that are defensive specialists, you know-4th outfielders on most teams.  They might do well to look outside the organization. 

4 years 3 months ago

The Nats have Werth in RF for the next few years, unless they move him to LF or CF to make room for Harper. Regardless, he’s a fixture for at least 4 more years (they won’t be able to move that contract until then.) Ankiel is at best a one-year space filler, as is Nix; it’s highly doubtful either one will be back in Washington next season. Morse may have been a one-year wonder, and may be best suited as a right-handed platoon 1B-OF type. Bernadina hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant a full-time major league job yet. And Harper is at least another full year away, if not 2; the Nats won’t want him to gain any extra service time before it’s absolutely necessary. What this means is that the Nats really aren’t “overloaded” in the OF; they just have a bunch of warm bodies that happen to play that position right now.  Other than Harper, though, there’s not much hope on the farm, so the team will need to make a trade or sign a free agent to fill the gaps until Harper comes up.

Matt Galvin
4 years 3 months ago

They also have Blanco.

kräftig. entschieden
4 years 3 months ago

Immediately posted to AAA after the trade.