After Roger Bernadina’s yo-yo season – from Class AAA Syracuse to everyday Nationals center fielder back to Syracuse and, today, a September call-up – it is natural to ask, where does Bernadina fit into the Nationals’ plans?
“That’s a good question,” Bernadina said. “I don’t know. Right now, I feel like whatever they put me in, it’s all good. But I don’t know. To tell you the truth, to be honest with you, I don’t know right now.”
Bernadina’s inability to stick in the major league as not been lack of opportunity. Bernadina served as the Nationals primary leadoff hitter and center fielder for a three-month stretch this season. During that span, he hit .247/.312/.352. Bernadina also had 461 plate appearances in 2010, and he hit .246/.307/.384.
“They had a reason to send me down,” Bernadina said.
His below-league-average offensive performance was not the primary reason. Manager Davey Johnson said he told Bernadina the area he needed to improve his jumps in center field.
“That was the one thing that I felt like, he’d overcome a lot of it because he’s got great speed,” Johnson said. “He would actually get really bad jumps.”
Bernadina, 27, will have a chance to reassert himself as part of the Nationals’ future in the final month of this season. No one doubts he has the raw physcial ability. For now, he’s still wondering where he fits.
“It’s hard to tell, but I don’t control it,” Bernadina said. “I couldn’t tell you what it is. You always want to be in one place, and I’ve been up and down. I wish I could have stayed up here. But for now, that’s just the way it is. We’ll go from there.”
In other roster news: Left-handed pitcher Tom Milone, set to make his major league debut tomorrow, and right-hander Brad Peacock were in the clubhouse early this afternoon but have not been added to the roster. Obviously, both will be, definitely tomorrow for Milone. Ivan Rodriguez will start at designated hitter tonight for Class AA Harrisburg, and barring a setback he could be reinstated from the disabled list any day now.