Results tagged ‘ Roger Bernadina ’

‘The Shark’ faces Nats in Philly

PHILADELPHIA — Former Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina was in the starting lineup for the Phillies on Monday, hitting eighth and playing right field.

The Nationals released Bernadina on Aug. 19 to make room for outfielder David DeJesus</span>. At the time of his release, Bernadina was hitting .178 with two home runs and six RBIs. His hitting wasn’t the only thing that disappointed the Nationals. He was also known to make baserunning mistakes.

“I like him. He just didn’t get much playing time early because we had a set lineup,” manager Davey Johnson said. “But he should have been used to that. Early on, it looked like he was guessing for pitches because he wasn’t aggressive.

“Again, all things come back to you having to stay aggressive in the box. First pitch may be the best pitch you get. They threw a lot of changeups and offspeed stuff. I think he missed a lot of fastballs, because he started getting into that guessing game.”</p>

Asked if was he surprised that the Nationals released him, Bernadina said: “You never want to get released, of course. I will say I was a little bit shocked. I wasn’t performing well. … It’s a business. I understand that part. I wish it had been a better ending, but I understand it’s part of business.

“I think they wanted me for a long time. I wouldn’t be in that organization for that long. In the end, it didn’t work out like I wanted it to.”

Bernadina was a popular figure with the D.C. fans and his teammates. He was lovingly known as “The Shark” because of the handful of great catches he made in the outfield.

“I love my teammates. I love the fans in D.C. I’m looking forward to going over there to see my teammates again,” Bernadina said.

Bernadina has been with the Phillies for the last two weeks and his hitting didn’t get any better, but he has made some nice plays in the outfield.

“Ever since I came here, they really want me. It’s a new opportunity to play somewhere, play more,” Bernadina said. “They have given me the chance to play. I think the teammates are great, coaches, everything is great.”

Which Nats players could go after 2013?

After the 2013 season comes to an end, the Nationals are likely to make changes  to improve the club for next season. Here are the current Nationals who may not be with the club next year.       

OF Roger Bernadina: As one person put it, “[Bernadina] has been a disappointment this year.” He not only has problems swinging the bat, but Bernadina has made some fundamental mistakes on the bases. As one evaluator put it, “[general manager Mike] Rizzo has never been a fan of Bernadina’s.”

Bernadina is arbration eligible after this season and there is a good chance he will be non-tendered.

2B Danny Espinosa: Shoulder and wrist injuries are the reasons Espinosa is having his worst year in 2013.  If he comes back to the big leagues for Washington, he most likely will be a reserve. He could be an everyday player elsewhere. He must cut down on the strikeouts to become an everyday player again.

RHP Dan Haren: Despite pitching well in the last month or so, Haren doesn’t think he will be back with the Nationals next year because of the season he has had, overall. He is 7-11 with a 4.99 ERA in 21 starts. The Nationals signed him to a one-year, $13 million deal to be one of their five starters this year.

1B Adam LaRoche: Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is arguably having his worst year defensively, with a team-leading 17 errors. But that number doesn’t tell the whole story. He is still having throwing issues because of the surgery he had on his right shoulder. In fact in early June, Zimmerman said he expects the shoulder to be in rehab mode for the rest of the season, but it will not keep him out of the lineup. It would not be surprising if the Nationals decided to move Zimmerman from third to first base as early as September. That could mean trading LaRoche to make room for Zimmerman at the position.

OF Denard Span: The Nationals thought he would be their ideal leadoff man after they acquired him from the Twins for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. Entering Tuesday’s action against the Giants, Span is hitting .263 with a .312 on-base percentage. Even worst, he has a .167 batting average against left-handers. It’s not known if Span will get another chance next season.

Brian Goodwin is not ready to take over center fielder. The Nationals could try to acquire a center fielder this offseason. For example, Shin-Soo Choo is a free agent after the season. He currently has a .409 on-base percentage with the Reds.

C Kurt Suzuki: Most of the playing time behind the plate has gone to Wilson Ramos, so it is doubtful Suzuki will have his option vested for 2014. The Nationals have a plethora of quality catchers in the farm system, so it looks like Suzuki will take his services elsewhere after next season.

INF Chad Tracy: The leader of the Goon Squad, Tracy is not having a productive season like he did last year. Entering Tuesday’s action against the Giants, Tracy is 18-for-102 [.176] with three home runs six RBIs. He is not the only one who is not producing of the bench. The bench is one of the reasons the Nationals have been inconsistent this season.

Reports: Nats acquire Scott Hairston

By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter

The Nationals have sought a power-hitting, right-handed bat for their bench, and they got one late Sunday night.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Nationals have acquired Cubs outfielder Scott Hairston in exchange for a minor-league pitcher. Hairston, 33, is hitting just .172 with eight home runs this season. He hit a pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning of the Chicago’s 4-3 extra-innings win over the Pirates on Sunday.

Hairston is a 10-year Major League veteran who has spent time with the Diamondbacks, Padres, Mets, Athletics and Cubs. The 6-foot, 205-pound outfielder signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Cubs in January.

Hairston has a bit of power (averages 20 home runs per 162 games) and he feels particularly comfortable against left-handed pitchers (.268 career average). He is 15-for-47 (.319) in 17 career games at Nationals Park.

The move will be announced Monday morning, according to Rosenthal. Hairston will likely replace outfielder Roger Bernadina or outfielder/first baseman Tyler Moore on the Nationals’ bench.

‘Shark’ returns to Nats camp

Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina returned to camp Wednesday, two days after the Netherlands lost to the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Bernadina did not travel with the Nationals to Jupiter, Fla., to play the Cardinals, but he was able to get four at-bats at Washington’s Minor League complex. He will be ready to play with the Major League team on Thursday, when it faces the Braves.

Bernadina said he was proud the Netherlands went to the final four and stayed humble during their run. In six games, Bernadina was 3-for-22 [.136] with three RBIs. He said his best moment at the Classic was beating Cuba in the semifinals.

“It was a lot of fun. Great group of guys,” Bernadina said. “They all wanted to go to the next level. As a team, we did great. It was a short tournament, but I felt it was the right moment and the right time for us. I loved it. Everybody was great to each other.”

Bernadina will start the regular season as a fourth outfielder and is ready to help the Nationals win another division title.

“I’m excited to get back in camp. The feeling that I had last week [with the Netherlands], I want to have the same thing for this season [with the Nationals],” Bernadina said. “I’m all for winning a championship. … I’m getting myself ready for the season. I feel like it’s unfinished business. Whatever they have me doing, I’m ready for it.”

Nats Inbox: Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nationals fans’ questions

Are you finally on the Roger Bernadina bandwagon? He is having his best year offensively and we all saw his awesome catch against the Astros. Do you see him settling in as the Nats’ fourth outfielder during the foreseeable future or do you think he’ll be swimming in different waters next season?
— Tyler and Terry, Washington DC

I’ve always been on the Bernadina bandwagon. I’m simply not fond of the nickname, “The Shark,” because he doesn’t put up Albert Pujols numbers. I prefer the name, “Speed Racer,” because of the way he runs the bases.

There is no question that Bernadina is having a great year. I love the way he outplayed Rick Ankiel, who was released last month. Bernadina is having great at-bats — it helps that he shortened his swing — and playing great defense. He could be a fourth outfielder for years to come. I don’t see him playing every day for the Nationals. He could be trade bait during the offseason.

The Nats bullpen has been great this year. But they have been used a lot. Manager Davey Johnson seems reluctant to have his starters pitch the last three innings of a game — even if the pitch count is low. If this is going to be a postseason team, won’t they need a fresh bullpen? Is this just part of Davey’s managing personality?
— Chris, Marlborough, CT

I spoke to Johnson recently and he doesn’t want to over use his pitchers before the postseason begins. During the month of September, I expect the Nationals to call up extra relievers such as Christian Garcia, so I expect the Nationals’ bullpen to be rested by the postseason.

When Ian Desmond returns, I would assume that Jayson Werth will lead off and Ian Desmond will hit sixth. Is this what you think also?
— Jamie, New Brunswick, Canada

It’s hard to say. If both players can stay healthy, I could see both players leading off from time to time. I can also see Danny Espinosa leading off once in a while. During the offseason, it would not surprise me if the Nationals were looking for a leadoff hitter.

With the development of Bryce Harper, I do not see the urgency to acquire a center fielder for next season. They are overloaded in the outfield already. Do you agree?
— Rich R., Washington DC.

I disagree. They have almost nothing but corner outfielders. I think Harper is a better as a right or left fielder. While Bernadina is having a great year defensively in center field, the Nationals consider him a corner outfielder. They center fielder could come from the Minor League system [Eury Perez] or free agency [Michael Bourn].

With Adam LaRoche having a mutual option for next season, do you think he will decline his option due to such a great season? I was thinking that if LaRoche picks up the option as well as the Nats, the team could decide to deal either LaRoche or Michael Morse, get good value in return and then go after a center fielder in a trade.
— Alex H., London, England

It’s too early to answer the question about LaRoche and the mutual option. I think both sides will deal with the option after the season. I don’t think Morse will be traded because he has one more year left on his contract and could be put at first base for next year.

There is possibility they could wait for Perez and Brian Goodwin, but I’m expecting the Nationals to trade for a center fielder or sign one during the free agency period.

Although John Lannan has struggled this season at Triple A Syracuse, with his success with the Major League team, do you see a long-term future with him in the rotation again?
— Ben S. Concord. N.C.

The answer is no. It would not surprise me if he was non-tendered after the season. Provided that everybody is healthy or re-signed for next year, I see the rotation like this: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler.

– Bill Ladson

The Shark’s latest catch

If you haven’t seen Roger Bernadina’s leaping catch that preserved the Nationals’ 3-2, 12-inning win over the Astros last night…

What was everyone at Minute Maid Park saying immediately after the Shark’s big grab?

Bernadina:
“He hit that ball good, and I went and tried to get it, and at that moment I felt like jumping, and it turned out well.”
“I didn’t hit [the wall] that hard. I was OK. I was fine, but in that moment, you don’t think about it. You just go for it. I’m good now.”

Ian Desmond, stepping into Bernadina’s interview:
“He’s the Shark! He always thinks he’s got a shot.”

Craig Stammen, who had the best view in the house:
“I was like, I think that’s short, so I was just screaming at him, ‘I don’t care if you go in the wall, you’ve got room! You’ve got room!’ And then he caught it, and I was like, ‘OK, is he dead or alive?’ He was alive!”
“It was crazy. I was trying to hide in that corner so I didn’t have to watch but I ended up getting the best view of it.”

Manager Davey Johnson:
“It was sensational. I thought the ball at first was going to go out. I need to watch it on replay. I saw him disappear from my angle. He disappeared and came out holding the glove high. I said, ‘Man, this is great. Let’s get out of here.’ Exciting ballgame.”

Danny Espinosa:
“That was an unbelievable catch. It saved the game. If he doesn’t catch it, we lose. To go the distance that he did and leap, that’s a tricky little corner right there against a flat wall. That was an unbelievable catch.”

Ross Detwiler:
“Off the bat, I couldn’t really gauge how far it was going to go. I couldn’t tell if he hit it too high or if he squared it up. I saw him go over there, and when he got to the spot, I knew he had it.”

Astros manager Brad Mills:
“He went flying into the screen. It seemed like the ball was hooking. If it could have been a foot to the left where it would have gone off the signage there, that would have been absolutely outstanding, too. That would have been great. [Carlos] Corporan could have scored on that.”

Brett Wallace:
“I thought I put that ball in the gap. I thought that ball might split them, but he made a great play. He’s a good center fielder. That’s what they do.”

-Adam Berry

The Shark swinging hot bat

Outfielder Roger Bernadina has been on a hot streak, going 17-for-46 [.370] in his last 12 games to raise his batting average to .281. He also has hit three homers in his last four games.

With Rick Ankiel on the disabled list because of a rib cage injury, Bernadina will get a chance to play every day. Bernadina will hit second against right-handers and ninth against left-handers.

“I’m in a groove right now,” Bernadina said. “I just want to keep it up. So far it is going good. I want to do my best, get better every day and go from there.”

Bernadina, Desmond dealing with injuries

Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina and shortstop Ian Desmond are dealing with leg issues and most likely will not play against the Padres on Sunday.

Bernadina was scheduled to hit ninth in manager Jim Riggleman’s revamped lineup Saturday, but was a late scratch of because of left hamstring tightness.

Bernadina has had problems with the hamstring for several days, but managed not to miss a game until Saturday.

Bernadina said his leg didn’t feel right once he started shagging fly balls before Saturday’s game. He then went into the trainer’s room to get some treatment.

As for Desmond, he has been dealing with issues with his left quadriceps for several weeks. On Saturday, it was pretty clear that something was wrong. He was struggling to run from first to home on a Danny Espinosa double in the first inning.

After the game, Riggleman said that he planned to give Desmond the day off Sunday and put him back in the lineup Tuesday against the Cardinals.

Bernadina has impressive game vs. Marlins

Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina showed how much he wants to be an everyday player.

During Washington’s 8-4 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday, Bernadina started in center field and went 2-for-4, including a three-run homer off right-hander Josh Johnson in the second inning. However, his most impressive hit came two innings later, when he bunted the ball past pitcher Mike Dunn for a base it.

The Nationals want Bernadina to bunt more often. After all, he has the speed to do it on a regular basis.   
 
“That is something I want to work on during Spring Training. Today, it worked out well. I just want to keep working on it to get better,” Bernadina said.
  
Last year, Bernadina played nearly a full season in the big leagues and hit .247 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs for Washington.      

Twitter Poll: Who should be in right field?

On Friday, I asked a question to my Twitter followers: Are you happy with the right-field platoon of Willie Harris and Willy Taveras? Why?

Of the 40 people who responded, 35 made it clear that they were not happy with the right-field platoon, while five were OK with the situation. 

Here’s what some of the Twitter followers had to say:

@CraigsOnABoat: It’s time to let our young guns sink or swim. Roger Bernadina is ready and has a much better makeup for right field than Harris/Tavares.

@NotRizzo:  Absolutely not happy about Taveras. Mike Morse is a much better option vs. left-handed pitching.

@NFA_Brian: I would rather see Bernadina get a chance to sink/swim.

@emmi1966: I’d prefer to see one guy have the job.

@tylerradecki: I think the team should stick with Bernadina and give him a chance instead of Taveras. See what Roger can do with a platoon.

@LeperMessiah: No. Neither is experienced in right field and Taveras is not a Major League  bat.

@SacksJacked:  There are better options, but I’m limited with 140 characters.

@federalbaseball: Taveras/Harris? Hmm, so about that long-rumored trade for an outfielder?

@NatsEnquirer: It reeks strongly of the old Nook Logan/Ryan Langerhans no-hit CF platoon of 2007. Blah.

@kfisher32: I think Bernadina is the way to go at this point. Possibly more upside than the Willie or Willy. 

@Neuman85: No one seems to like Taveras, but he seems like a fit for the 2-hole.

@Khillock: Would Maxwell fit in RF? If so, I’d rather see him than the TaHarris platoon. 

@soullmeetsbody: They will be a hitting nightmare. Look at their OPS stats.   

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