WASHINGTON -- To make room for left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, who started on Sunday against the Orioles, the Nationals decided to put outfielder Rick Ankiel on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 15.
Ankiel, who has a rib-cage injury, was seen in the indoor cage taking batting practice before Sunday's game against the Orioles. After the hitting practice was over, Ankiel had a meeting with manager Jim Riggleman, general manager Mike Rizzo and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz. The decision was then made that Ankiel would not play in a Major League game for a while.
Ankiel hurt himself after catching a routine fly ball off the bat of Cardinals third baseman Daniel Descalso in the top of the second inning on Tuesday night.
Ankiel was supposed to bat in the bottom of the inning, but was lifted for pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina.
"With Rick, we've played with 24 players for a long time, but the trainer wasn't sure if it was going to be two days or three days," Rizzo said. "With that, I think the best thing for him is to get it taken care of and get some at-bats on a rehab stint. When he's eligible to come off, he should be ready to go and have some at-bats under his belt."
Ankiel said he was upset about being put on the DL, but understood why the decision was made.
"At the same time, it's the right call," Ankiel said. "We sat down and we talked about it. I feel like I'll be able to play on Tuesday, but there is always, what if you tweak it more on Tuesday night? It's an awkward injury. It's something you don't want to do again."
As for Gorzelanny, the left-hander made his first big league appearance since May 23 against the Brewers. Gorzelanny missed almost a month because of a sore left elbow. He was expected throw around 90 pitches against the Orioles on Sunday.