The competition in center field is between Ankiel, Roger Bernadina and Nyjer Morgan. One baseball person has Ankiel winning the job, followed by Bernadina and Morgan.
The Nationals love Ankiel's defense in center and are willing to accept the strikeouts he brings as a hitter. Ankiel is hitting .216 with three home runs and nine RBIs this spring.
If he is the Opening Day center fielder, Ankiel will platoon with Jerry Hairston Jr. Ankiel is 77-for-332 [.232] against left-handed pitching and will not see much action against southpaws.