Craig Robinson, the actor probably best known for his role as Darryl from “The Office,” is here at Nats Park today to throw out the first pitch.
Call me when Dwight Schrute shows up in a mustard-colored short-sleeve button-down to do the same.
When Roger Bernadina delivered a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning last night, he finally broke his way into the hit column this season, tallying his first base knock of the season after starting the year 0-for-16.
“I kind of forgot how to get on base, how that feels,” Bernadina joked this afternoon.
Bernadina’s hit got him off the schneid, and it also led to a couple insurance runs. His single to center extended the inning with two outs, and Denard Span immediately followed with a two-run triple.
“It always feel good,” Bernadina said. “Just want to do whatever it is to help the team. I want to do good myself, too. But, yeah, it feel good to get the base hit.”
Despite the rough start to the season, Bernadina says he hadn’t been getting frustrated or down on himself. He kept a positive outlook and stayed fresh and prepared for pinch-hit opportunities by tracking pitches during bullpen sessions thrown by Nationals pitchers and getting in extra time in the batting cage.
“I just stay loose, normal,” Bernadina said. “It’s not frustrating, because I know at some point, it will come. But I will say disappointed, how things started, but I always felt confident that things will turn around well. Now I want to keep building from here.”
Bernadina had an unusual spring, leaving the Nationals’ spring training complex in Viera, Fla., to join Team Neatherlands for the World Baseball Classic. He traveled with the Dutch to Taiwan, Japan, Arizona and California, but missed time after getting hit by a pitch on the wrist.
He went 3-for-22 with a double, walk and three strikeouts during the WBC, but then was still limited a bit when he returned to Viera. The wrist injury, combined with a lack of available playing time in the Nats’ final few spring games, allowed Bernadina to get just 12 Grapefruit League at-bats.
The lack of a full spring workload might have slowed Bernadina a bit, but he says he feels completely healthy at this point.
“It was frustrating because I got hit, and it take a couple of days away from playing, and that time it’s frustrating because it’s early spring training and you want to get so much ABs, and you can’t,” Bernadina said. “That took some playing time away from me, of course. But that’s in the past, I just want to move on. I’ll keep working here, keep working hard to get better every day.”
Meanwhile, Wilson Ramos will start his rehab assignment tonight with Double-A Harrisburg, as planned. Ramos, who is working back from a strained left hamstring, will catch three innings tonight in the Senators’ game at Bowie and then will be evaluated by team medical staffers.
If all goes well over the next couple days, Ramos should be ready to rejoin the Nationals on Monday when he’s eligible to come off the DL.
Ryan Zimmerman is also starting to push things a bit in his rehab from a strained left hamstring. Zimmerman has been doing some running and taking some swings in the cage.
The Nats aren’t willing to announce their plans for Zimmerman’s rehab assignment just yet, preferring that he first get cleared by medical director Dr. Wiemi Douoguih. But it’s clear Zimmerman is getting close to appearing with an affiliate.