Laynce Nix will have to miss a few games after he left Thursday night’s loss with what he termed a right groin “tweak.” With the Nationals able to expand their roster, they will apparently call up outfielder Roger Bernadina from Class AAA Syracuse to provide added depth starting with their weekend series against the New York Mets.
Bernadina left Syracuse’s game Thursday night in the fifth inning without an injury, which in itself was a likely sign the Nationals plan to bring him to Washington. The Nationals have said they plan to add Bernadina to the roster. On his official Facebook page Thursday night, Bernadina wrote, “De Haai is terug!” That’s Dutch, Bernadina’s first language, for “The Shark is back!”
Nix, who has dealt with a sore right Achilles’ tendon all season, hurt his groin on an unusual play in the second inning. While he was on first, Chris Marrero chopped a pitch high off the plate toward shortstop. Nix sprinted to second as shortstop Alex Gonzalez settled under the ball. When it went over Gonzalez’s head, Nix restarted his run as he rounded the bag and felt a slight pull. “Just an awkward play,” he said.
Nix played defense for one more inning and came out in favor of Rick Ankiel in the bottom of the third. Nix expects to miss a couple games, nothing more. “I’ve pulled my groin before,” Nix said. “I don’t think that’s what it is. I don’t think it’s that severe. It’s just sort of tender.”
The Nationals had planned to add all of their call-ups after Sept. 5, the day the minor league season ends. But Manager Davey Johnson advocated Thursday night for earlier extra support. The Braves had a stocked bench, allowing Manager Fredi Gonzalez to twice pull back a pinch-hitter in order to get a more favorable match-up.
“It’ll be nice to get a few more bodies here, because we were a little short,” Johnson said. “It was a good advantage for them over there to have extra bodies, be able to burn two pinch-hitters to be able to get the match-up they want.”
Bernadina began the year in Syracuse and was called up in late April. He served as the Nationals’ primary center fielder for most of three months before the Nationals optioned him back to Syracuse after they traded for Jonny Gomes just before the July 31 trade deadline. In 293 major league plate appearances, Bernadina has hit .247/.312/.352 with five homers and 16 steals.
FROM THE POST
Stephen Strasburg passed his final minor league test with six one-hit, scoreless innings at Class AA Harrisburg, Dave Sheinin writes.
The Nationals’ repeated the primary story of their season in a 5-2 loss to the Braves last night: They play well enough to win, but they don’t hit well enough to win.
NATS MINOR LEAGUES
Syracuse 6, Buffalo 2: Roger Bernadina went 2 for 3 with a double. Yunesky Maya allowed two runs in six innings on six hits and three walks, striking out six.
Harrisburg 10, Portland 0: Stephen Strasburg allowed no runs in six innings on one hit and no walks, striking out four. Ivan Rodriguez went 2 for 5. Tim Pahuta went 2 for 4 with a home run. The Senators clinched the West Division title in the Eastern League.
Potomac 5, Lynchburg 1: Zachary Walters went 3 for 4 with a double. Eury Perez went 2 for 4. Paul Demny allowed allowed no runs in seven innings on five hits and one walk, striking out five.
Lakewood 10, Hagerstown 1: Randolph Oduber went 2 for 4.
Auburn 4, Jamestown 2: Matt Skole went 3 for 4 with a double. Justin Miller went 4 for 4.