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Long time coming for Bernadina

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 »

  1. Section3MySofa - May 12, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    So, what are the odds that Roger is the guy they hoped Dukes would be?

  2. Anonymous - May 12, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    I feel bad for Justin Maxwell. With Bernadina playing well and also with Harris and Morse ahead of him, it's gonna be awhile before Maxwell can be in the big leagues again.

  3. Jeff Wang - May 12, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    Maxwell was the first "throw him out there and see if he sticks" guy. He didn't stick. He had his chances.

  4. Aussie Guy - May 12, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    Maxwell will be traded. He'll be the second or third player in Rizzo trade that gets us bull pen help and a 2B prospect.

  5. Uncle Atom - May 12, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    Good for Bernadina! Here's hoping he stays in the groove and claims RF as his position.

  6. Andrew - May 12, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    Mark – Great photo!

  7. Aeoliano - May 12, 2010 at 11:41 PM

    Bernadina is different … he is left handed and Dukes right handed. A more natural right fielder I guess. He was doing better than JMax in Syracuse.

  8. yankish2 - May 13, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    How did Roger do against left handed pitching at Syracuse?

  9. DJ - May 13, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    Aussie boy – We have Espinosa/Kobernus as our 2B prospects.I'm not ready to claim Bernadina the everyday guy or say Maxwell is done…but it was a good game for Roger, nonetheless.

  10. Anonymous8 - May 13, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2010_05_12_noraaa_syraaa_1So they bring in Villone to relieve Storen and face a lefty AAA guy in the 8th spot in the lineup batting .250 and Villone gives up a double.Real bad if Villone comes in as the situational lefty and gets rocked.

  11. Anonymous8 - May 13, 2010 at 1:51 AM

    OK, Villone walks the next guy and then gets a comebacker and turns a double play.

  12. Aussie Gus - May 13, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    Espinosa has played all his minor league games at SS, and Kobernus has been in the system for a whole 24 games. Hardly solid 2B depth in the system.

  13. Anonymous - May 13, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    Possible nicknames for Roger Bernadina:The BerninatorBern GullyorThe guy not named Elijah Dukes.

  14. Sec3MyAKA - May 13, 2010 at 3:47 AM

    I thought "Roger" *was* his nickname?

  15. Sec3ByAnyOtherName - May 13, 2010 at 3:53 AM

    But I guess now we have to ask: Mark, what does TPlush have for Bernardina?

  16. Anonymous - May 13, 2010 at 6:35 AM

    bernadina=the flying dutchman

  17. alexva - May 13, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    TPlush can refer to him as his replacement in CF

  18. Anonymous - May 13, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Berndaddy or BAMerdina!longterm

  19. Sec314 - May 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    I agree with Alexva. TPlush is older, reckless and has less power.

  20. Steve M. - May 13, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    The Flying Dutchman is perfect for Roger since he was born in Curacao and trains in the Netherlands.Should we check with Honus Wagner's family first?

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