Nationals place Rick Ankiel on disabled list with sprained wrist

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The Nationals placed center fielder Rick Ankiel on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right wrist following last night’s win over the Marlins.

Ankiel hasn’t played since since jamming his wrist while attempting to make some diving catches in the outfield during Monday’s game against the Giants.

An MRI on Ankiel’s wrist came back negative, but Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that they couldn’t go short-handed on their bench any longer.

“He just is not feeling well enough to hit, and we’re just so short-handed,” Riggleman said. “Morse is kind of limping around. We just can’t continue to go a man short. We just got to get a healthy body and let Rick Ankiel get healthy.”

Ankiel, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract over the winter, is batting .221/.302/.288 with one home run, seven RBI and a .590 OPS over his first 118 plate appearances this season, including a .203 clip over 74 at-bats against right-handed pitching.

Roger Bernadina was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to replace Ankiel on the active roster and has a legitimate chance to take away the starting center field job.

Marlins sign Sean Burnett to minor league deal

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Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.

Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.

Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.