Results tagged ‘ Roger Bernadina ’
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.”
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
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?
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said that outfielder Roger Bernadina has a chance to be on the 25 man-roster to start the season.
It helps that Bernadina is on a hot streak and has seen his batting average climb to .289 with two RBIs entering Saturday’s action against the Braves. Bernadina shortened his swing at the suggestion of hitting coach Rick Eckstein and it has paid nice dividends for the left-handed hitter.
Because of Bernadina’s success of late, the Nationals may not be in a rush to acquire a right fielder.
Riggleman did not say, however, if Bernadina would see most of the action in right field. As of now, Willie Harris is the right fielder against the Phillies on April 5. If Bernadina makes the team, he most likely will be part of a platoon in right field.
“Roger is playing very well. He is really making a case for himself for that right field spot. He is running the bases well,” Riggleman said. “Rick Eckstein has really had an impact on him, especially the last 10 days. Roger has made a little adjustment at the plate. He took that to batting practice and it immediately took off [into a game].
As recently as March 17, the day right fielder Elijah Dukes was released, Bernadina wasn’t on the Nationals’ radar screen. In fact, they were thinking about sending him to Minor Leagues camp because he was off to a slow start. But the change at the plate convinced the organization to give Bernadina a longer look.
Bernadina is a solid defender and, based on his Minor League numbers, is capable of holding his own at the plate. The 2008 season was his best, leading all Nationals prospects in hitting [.336], hits  and runs scored .
Last year was Bernadina’s big chance to make an impact on the big-league team, but he missed most of the season because of a fractured right ankle.
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said if the regular season started Sunday, Willie Harris would be the Opening Day right fielder against the Phillies.
Harris most likely would face Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay, a pitcher Harris has never faced during his career.
It would mark the second time Harris would be in the Opening Day lineup. The first time occurred on April 5, 2004, when he led off for the White Sox. He went 0-for-4 against the Royals that day.
“I’m looking forward to that Opening Day start,” said the left-handed hitting Harris said. “We are facing a tough pitcher that day. It doesn’t matter who we are facing. I’m just happy to have that opportunity.”
Just because Harris is the Opening Day right fielder, does not mean he will be play that position on a regular basis.
The club is already talking about a platoon between Harris and Justin Maxwell. If that doesn’t work, the second option is platooning Harris with Mike Morse.
Riggleman also added Sunday that Roger Bernadina is now in the mix to be a platoon player. Bernadina, a solid defensive outfielder, is 7-for-28 [.250] with an RBI this spring.
“What I think is going to happen is, whoever is swinging a hot bat is going to play. That’s how it really goes — no matter what,” Harris said. “If you are swinging a hot bat and you are doing everything right — helping the team win and bringing energy every day — you are going to play.”
Don’t rule out general manager Mike Rizzo trying to acquire a right fielder. Jermaine Dye is still a free agent. Don’t look for the Nationals to break bank to acquire his services. If Dye is too expensive, look for the Washington to make a trade for an outfielder.
Right fielder Elijah Dukes was expected to bat seventh in Sunday’s game against the Brewers, but was a late scratch because he hurt left thumb taking batting practice on Saturday. Instead, Mike Morse received the start in right field.
Dukes, who is in a 10-for-47 slump, was concerned about his swing, so he decided to take early batting practice on Saturday.
“The thumb kind of blistered up. It’s just a little too sore to play, really, so he is a late scratch from the lineup,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said.
The skipper didn’t say when Dukes would return to action.
In other news, outfielder Roger Bernadina is out for the year because of a fractured right ankle. He injured the ankle making a great catch against the Marlins last April. He is currently rehabbing the ankle in Viera, Fla., but is running the bases at only 50 percent.