Results tagged ‘ Roger Bernadina ’
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.
Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann did not have his scheduled bullpen session on Friday because he continues to have tightness in his right elbow. He will have an MRI soon to determine the seriousness of the injury.
The Nationals were hoping that Zimmermann could pitch on Tuesday against the Braves, but that plan has been put on hold.
“He just came in and he feels a little something there. We are concerned [enough] to not let him throw in the bullpen,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “He wants to pitch. But with where we are at, we are going to get him looked at again, get some pictures taken. Hopefully, he will be pitching.”
In other news, outfielder Austin Kearns had tissue removed from his injured right thumb in Baltimore. He will be re-evaluated on Monday to determined how long he will be out for.
Outfielder Roger Bernadina, who is on the DL because of a fractured right ankle, will not play in a big league game anytime soon. Although the bone in the ankle has healed, Bernadina feels a lot of soreness. There’s no timetable on when he will play in a Major League game again.
Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman was scratched from Friday’s lineup because of bunions on his feet. So manager Jim Riggleman put Alberto Gonzalez at shortstop and Willie Harris at second base against the Cubs.
It’s not the first time Guzman has had foot problems. He missed an exhibition game during Spring Training because of athlete’s foot.
“He said it’s something that crops up every year. It was really sore today,” Riggleman said about Guzman. “He thinks he might be OK tomorrow or the next day, whichever. It’s basically day to day. It’s too tender to do much on him today.”
Guzman was not available for comment.
In other news, outfielder Roger Bernadina continues to recover from his fractured right ankle. While he is able to walk on the ankle, Bernadina continues to have problems running and doing outfield drills. He acknowledged that ankle is still sore.
Bernadina hurt the ankle on April 18 after making a great catch in center field against the Marlins.
Nationals manager Manny Acta said right-hander Jesus Colome will be available to pitch on Sunday even though he suffered a right quad strain the day before. It helped that Colome had a bullpen session in front of Acta and acting general manager Mike Rizzo and didn’t feel any pain.
In fact, Colome entered the game in the sixth inning against the Blue Jays and didn’t allow a run.
Outfielder Roger Bernadina, on the disabled list because of a right fractured ankle, is no longer wearing a walking boot and started to playing catch on Saturday.
Rizzo said Bernadina will need a significant amount of at-bats before he returns to the Major Leagues. That return could be sometime in September.
Nationals center fielder Roger Bernadina had to leave Saturday’s game against the Marlins because of a fractured right ankle suffered in the top of the eighth inning.
After the game, Bernadina was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He is expected to miss at least two months — maybe more.
With Nationals left-hander Joe Beimel on the mound, Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla hit the ball to deep center field. Bernadina made a nice running catch before slamming into the wall and hurting his ankle.
Right fielder Austin Kearns was seen calling for help, and Manager Manny Acta and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came to Bernadina’s aid. A few minutes later, Acta helped Bernadina into an ambulance.
“When [Bernadina] asked to get help to walk off the field, I knew it was bad,” Acta said. “It’s a [fractured ankle]. We’ll have more information, but he is going to be out for a while.”
Meanwhile, the Nationals will recall outfielder Justin Maxwell from Triple-A Syracuse.