The Nationals optioned outfielder Roger Bernadina back to Triple-A Syracuse this afternoon, making room for shortstop Ian Desmond to come off Major League Baseball's new paternity list after the birth of his son, Grayson.
"Indescribable," Desmond said when asked how it felt. "It's the best thing I've seen in my entire life."
Bernadina had a pair of hits in three innings last night, but the Nationals want him to play every day at Syracuse before coming back to the majors.
"We're obviously impressed by his play, the athleticism he shows on the field," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Sometimes you've got to wait it out a little bit before you've really got a chance to utilize the talents of somebody. We're trying to keep everybody on board, and this way, when we get to a point where we do bring Roger up, it'll be on more of an everyday basis rather than a little playing time now and then."
I've heard from a few of the Bernadina supporters on Twitter today, wanting him to stay in the majors under the logic that Matt Stairs has gotten enough chances to prove himself. Stairs is hitless in 13 at-bats, though he said today he felt like he's turning a corner in batting practice.
But here's where the Stairs-has-had-enough-time argument falls flat for me: Those same people are saying Bernadina should be up here based on a two-hit game last night. After seeing Bernadina all last year, we know there are nights when he looks like he's got it all put together, and other stretches where he looks lost. He was only hitting .267 at Syracuse, and at least at the moment, the Nationals are giving Michael Morse a chance to work things out in left, so Bernadina wouldn't play much.
He might not be anything more than a fourth outfielder anyway, but the Nationals' current outfield configuration isn't going to give him a chance to prove he's something more. So until, or unless, they decide to take some at-bats away from Rick Ankiel or Morse, it doesn't make much sense to have Bernadina here.
I'd also love it, just once, if somebody can give me a logical explanation of the Sharkadina thing.