With Rick Ankiel back from the disabled list, the Nationals have a surplus of players who can play left or center field. And all three of those players -- Ankiel, Roger Bernadina and Laynce Nix -- are left-handed.
But instead of moving one of the three players off the roster, the Nationals plan to use all of them in the two spots, at least for now.
Manager Jim Riggleman said on Monday the Nationals will alternate the three players in left and center, trying to find playing time for the two veterans while allowing Bernadina to develop in the major leagues.
General manager Mike Rizzo said earlier in the month that Bernadina would go back to the minors if he wasn't playing every day, but Riggleman said that wasn't literal, and added Bernadina would still get plenty of time.
Bernadina is probably the Nationals' best option as a leadoff hitter, although Ankiel, who had only batted there once before this season, has been in the top spot two of the last three days.
"I've got two positions for three players," Riggleman said. "I'm not going to abandon Rick Ankiel at this point, and Nix is hitting fourth for us, swinging pretty good.
"So you've got to mix and match there a little bit."
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