May 12, 2010, 10:31 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Roger Bernadina blasts his second homer of the day, leading the Nats to victory.
NEW YORK — Ian Desmond sat at his locker inside the clubhouse at Citi Field, looking at Roger Bernadina across the room, standing in only his sliding shorts as he talked to a reporter about the best day of his burgeoning major-league career.
When others questioned whether Bernadina would ever enjoy a moment like this, Desmond remained confident.
"I've just been telling everybody the whole time this guy is going to be really good," Desmond said. "Just watch. Let him play and watch. People are like, 'Eh, we'll see.' But today, you saw it. He can hit the ball like that a lot. And he makes all the defensive plays. He's got a cannon of an arm. I mean, look at his body. He's the most-ripped guy in here."
Indeed, Bernadina looks the part. Lean and muscular, with a sweet left-handed swing and a nice gallop in the outfield, he looks like he should be a five-tool player in the big leagues.
But until today's 6-4 victory over the Mets — Bernadina's coming-out party — we just didn't have much evidence to support Desmond's claims. Yes, the 25-year-old would make a few nice plays in the field. And every once in a while, he'd square a ball up and hustle down the first-base line. But for the most part, he looked overwhelmed as a major leaguer.
Give the Nationals credit for sticking with Bernadina. That may be in part because the club has no real answer in right field at the moment, but team officials have wanted all along to get a good look at this native of Curacao, the longest-tenured player in the organization. Did you realize Bernadina was signed by the Montreal Expos in 2001,Read more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Roark gives up 3 runs in Nats loss
- Nationals split up to face Astros, Braves
- Prospects Cole, Rivero cut from big-league camp
- Desperate Braves sign Santana for $14 million
- The good, the bad and the ugly of Nats camp
- Zimmermann perfect against Sabathia, Yankees
- Fister could be ready for season's first week
- Zimmermann leads Nats against Yankees' Sabathia
- Injuries highlight the importance of rotation depth
- Gio Gonzalez starts strong, but Astros top Nationals