Hairston to DL, Ankiel rejoins Nats roster (updated with quotes)

The Nationals have placed utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right wrist. Hairston was hit on the wrist by a Dan Haren pitch in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday and is expected to miss two to four weeks.

“I know what I can and can’t do, and I think I’d be hurting the team if I’d be out there playing,” Hairston said before the Nationals opened a weekend series against Pittsburgh on Friday. “The main thing is just get it healthy and hopefully be healthy in two weeks. It’s one of those things where it’s broke in a good area where it’ll heal real quick.”

The break is at the bony protuberance at the junction of the lower arm and wrist, and Hairston was sporting only a bandage at the site of the injury Friday afternoon. No cast will be needed, he said.

“Four (weeks) is just being really cautious,” he said. “What I’m going to do for the next seven to 10 days is let it calm down and then start swinging the bat. If I can swing the bat and tolerate it, they’ll let me go.”

To take Hairston’s place on the 25-man roster, the Nationals activated outfielder Rick Ankiel from the 15-day disabled list. Ankiel was placed on the DL on June 19, retroactive to June 15, with a strained rib-cage muscle.

Though Ankiel gives manager Davey Johnson a roster replacement, he hardly replaces Hairston’s versatility. Hairston filled in at third base while Ryan Zimmerman was sidelined and has also played second base, left field and center field this season.

Johnson said he would keep Roger Bernadina in center field, meaning Ankiel will head to the bench.

“Basically, I’ll be using Rick as a fourth outfielder,” Johnson said.

Hairston is hitting .260 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 69 games. Ankiel is batting .204 with a home run and nine RBIs in 48 games.