Jul 29, 2011, 7:51 PM EST
Updated at 6:46 p.m.
Needing to clear a roster spot for Chien-Ming Wang to make his first big-league appearance in more than two years, the Nationals optioned outfielder Roger Bernadina to Class AAA Syracuse shortly before tonight's game.
The option wasn't made official until minutes before gametime, on the off chance the Nationals made another move before then (a trade or an injury to someone else) but manager Davey Johnson informed Bernadina of the plan earlier in the day.
"A brief stint down there playing every day is not going to be a setback so much," Johnson said. "And it's really not a demotion. It's out of necessity, to keep other players here in this organization without having to make massive change."
Bernadina's demotion leaves the Nationals with a 13-man pitching staff, including six starters, for the moment. It also leaves them with only Rick Ankiel and Jerry Hairston as available center fielders.Read more »
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