Nats place Rick Ankiel on disabled list with intercostal strain

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As reported by CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman, the Nationals placed center fielder Rick Ankiel on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning with a strained left intercostal muscle.

Tom Gorzelanny was activated in a corresponding move and will take the mound Sunday afternoon against the Orioles. He missed almost a full month with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

Ankiel suffered the ribcage strain on Tuesday of last week while fielding a Ryan Theriot base hit. He took batting practice before Sunday’s game and has been able to do most baseball-related activities, but the Nationals were worried that Ankiel would only make things worse by trying to play through the injury at full speed. He’s eligible to return July 1.

The 31-year-old former pitcher is batting .204/.271/.276 with one homer and nine RBI in 48 games this year.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.