WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel, on the disabled list because of a right wrist injury, took batting practice for the first time at Nationals Park on Monday afternoon. He swung the bat without any problems.
Ankiel will take batting practice again Tuesday. If the session is successful, Ankiel will then participate in a rehab assignment.
"Everything went well, I felt good. I like the way it went," Ankiel said. "I want to come back and help the team and compete. I want to keep that competitive fire out there."
Ankiel, who hurt his wrist trying to catch a fly ball against the Phillies in early May, is hitting .221 with one home run and seven RBIs, but has been outstanding on defense.
Once he is ready to play in the big leagues, Ankiel will most likely return as the starting center fielder, while Roger Bernadina will become the everyday left fielder.
Currently, Bernadina is in center, while Laynce Nix is platooning with Mike Morse in left. Nix has received most of the playing time and has done a good job, hitting .310 with five home runs and 16 RBIs entering play Monday.
"I definitely want Mike in there when a left-hander's pitching," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Early in the year he was starting against everyone and struggling, so we took advantage of what Nix was doing. Right now, if a right-hander's pitching, Nix is going to be in there. If a left-hander's pitching, Morse is going to be in there."
Coffey plays catch day after getting hit
WASHINGTON -- A day after being hit on the right elbow by a line drive off the bat of Marlins infielder Emilio Bonifacio, Nationals reliever Todd Coffey played catch and hopes to pitch in a game by Tuesday. It's a matter of getting all of the swelling down in the elbow.
"I felt good. The ball is coming out of my hand clean. It's just a little swelling," Coffey said. "Every 30 minutes, we are going to push the swelling out, and I should be good to go tomorrow."
Coffey acknowledged that he was lucky that the ball hit the meaty part of his right arm. If it had hit the bone area, Coffey would have missed a significant amount of time.
"It hit me in the right spot, as they say," Coffey said. "It still stinks to get hit, but it could have been a lot worse."
Nats trio takes home Minor League honors
WASHINGTON -- Syracuse first baseman Michael Aubrey, Harrisburg pitcher Brad Peacock and Hagerstown pitcher Robbie Ray were named Players of the Week in their respective leagues for the period of May 9-15.
Aubrey went 8-for-18 (.444) with four homers and nine RBIs in six games to win Triple-A International League honors. Aubrey's week was highlighted by a 4-for-4, four-homer, seven-RBI performance in Syracuse's 11-0 win vs. Durham on Saturday.
Peacock won the Double-A Eastern League award after striking out 14 batters in seven innings of one-run ball, Friday at Richmond. In seven games (6 starts) Peacock is 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA. He's struck out 56 and walked only seven in 42 1/3 innings this season. Peacock, a 41st-round pick by the Nationals in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, is tied for first in the EL in strikeouts and wins.
Ray, 19, struck out 13 and walked one in 11 scoreless innings in 2 starts during the week to earn Class A South Atlantic League honors. Opposing batters are just 3-for-37 (.081) against him this season. Ray was selected by the Nationals in the 12th round of the 2010 Draft.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.