PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Outfielder Roger Bernadina is leaving Nationals camp to return to his native Curacao following the death of his father.
Bernadina informed manager Davey Johnson earlier this week that he would need to head home for a funeral, which will now be held Friday. Johnson told him he was free to leave today, but Bernadina wanted to get a few at-bats in minor-league camp. He's scheduled to fly out tomorrow, then return in time to play Saturday against the Cardinals.
It's been a difficult offseason for the 27-year-old outfielder. He was good friends with Greg Halman, an outfielder with the Mariners and teammate on the Netherlands national team who was stabbed to death in November.
Bernadina has performed well in recent days, collecting seven hits (two of them home runs) over his last 10 at-bats while driving in seven runs. With Michael Morse likely opening the season on the disabled list, he could see time as the Nationals' starting left fielder along with Mark DeRosa.