PHILADELPHIA - Jerry Hairston Jr. starts in center field tonight for the Nationals, replacing Rick Ankiel after he injured his right hand on a pair of diving catches. Manager Jim Riggleman said Ankiel is available to pinch hit, but the Nationals' training staff thought it would be best to give the center fielder a day off.
"I know he rolled on it pretty good a couple times," Riggleman said. "He's playable but we're going to give him one day and see if we can get him back in there tomorrow."
Hairston has a 10.5 UZR in his career in center field, though that stat should be taken with a grain of salt because of how little he's played there (only 121 games in his career). Still, he's played there enough that Riggleman has no qualms about putting him out there.
"I'm comfortable with him everywhere," Riggleman said. "I think he's done real good at third, he made some plays in the outfield for us, spring training, he looked good at second. I know he played well in San Diego at short so I think it's, he's a baseball player. I think he's pretty good everywhere."