Roger Bernadina was in the Nationals dugout for the first time this season after being recalled from Class AAA Syracuse earlier today, but there’s no telling if the outfielder will be with the team tomorrow. Washington added Bernadina to the roster while shortstop Ian Desmond is on paternity leave, which could be from one to three days.
The plan was to use Bernadina off the bench if he’s up for only a short period, but Manager Jim Riggleman said it’s not a certainty Bernadina would be sent back down once Desmond comes off paternity leave.
“I’m not anticipating him starting tomorrow,” Riggleman said. “There’s nothing set that he’s the guy who goes back either. He may stay, and somebody else might go back.”
Bernadina had an opportunity to tie tonight’s game against the New York Mets or get Washington a step closer in the ninth with Jerry Hairston on first and one out. Hairston had reached on a bunt single off closer Francisco Rodriguez that stayed foul while rolling just inside the third base line with Washington trailing, 6-4.
Bernadina took ball one, then a called first strike. He then fouled off a 1-1 fastball, and he broke his bat on soft liner to third. Leadoff hitter Danny Espinosa ended the game when first baseman Ike Davis, drawn slightly off the bag on third baseman David Wright’s throw, tagged the Nationals second baseman in the nick of time.
Bernadina, who had come in to play left field in the top of the ninth, was left off the Nationals’ big-league roster following spring training in favor of Laynce Nix. The thought was Bernadina would be able to get everyday playing time in Class AAA Syracuse, but he missed the first few games of the minor league season because of family issues.
Last season, Bernadina hit .246 with 11 homers and 47 RBI in 414 at-bats. He also played all three outfield positions.