Nationals activate Rick Ankiel from 15-day disabled list

MILWAUKEE - As expected, the Nationals activated outfielder Rick Ankiel from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday afternoon, a day after he started a rehab assignment at Double-A Harrisburg to come back from a sprained right wrist he sustained on May 2.

The return of the Nationals’ opening day center fielder could create a logjam in center and left, where Roger Bernadina and Laynce Nix have been getting most of the playing time with Ankiel out. The Nationals would like to see Bernadina continue to play in center and hit leadoff, and Nix is hitting .308 with six homers, which has him tied for second on the team. All three players hit left-handed, as well, so most of their at-bats would be coming against the same pitchers.

With Adam LaRoche being on the disabled list, though, the Nationals will likely use Michael Morse (another left fielder) at first base. Morse has played there the last two games, and hit his third homer of the season last night. Manager Jim Riggleman also said on Monday that Ankiel would also take some ground balls at first base, though he’s never played there in his major league career.

Ankiel went 0-for-4 in one game at Harrisburg, striking out four times on Monday night.