Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bernadina leaving Saturday for WBC

USA Today Sports Images
Roger Bernadina will leave camp Saturday to play in the WBC in Taiwan.
VIERA, Fla. -- Roger Bernadina opened a shoebox this morning inside the clubhouse and pulled out a brand-new pair of orange cleats.

Orange? Isn't that going to clash with the Nationals' uniform?

Well, yes. Thankfully, Bernadina has no plans to match them up with his standard red, white and blue garb. These are for his other team, the Netherlands national club which is competing in next month's World Baseball Classic.

Bernadina, in fact, has to leave camp on Saturday so he can join the rest of the Dutch squad on a 20-hour flight to Taiwan, where they'll all open first-round play against South Korea on March 2.

"Long day of flying," the outfielder said, "but it's worth it."

Bernadina is one of several established big leaguers playing for the Netherlands, which pulls the majority of its players from its Caribbean territories: Curacao and Aruba. Also on the WBC roster: Andruw Jones, Jair Jurrjens, Jurickson Profar and Andrelton Simmons.

Three Nationals minor leaguers (Randolph Oduber, Spencer Kieboom and Robbie Cordemans) also are on the team, so at least Bernadina will have company on the long flight.

The Netherlands has surprisingly built one of baseball's best international programs. They've been playing the sport -- it's called "honkball" there -- since 1911 but enjoyed their first big breakthrough in the 2009 WBC when they twice beat the powerhouse Dominican club to advance to the tournament's second round.

Then, two years ago, the Dutch won their first-ever international championship, defeating Cuba to win the Baseball World Cup.

"Over the years, we've progressed pretty good," said Bernadina, who first started playing for his country in the 2007 World Cup. "I know how we started, and now we're one of the top teams in the world."

So, has baseball fever overrun the streets of Amsterdam, where Bernadina lives in the offseason?

"No, not yet," Bernadina laughed. "Soccer is still the big sport over there. But it's getting there. I think once we get some more major league players and some more media about the sport, it will get bigger."

The Netherlands faces a difficult road through this year's WBC. If they advance through round-robin play in Taiwan, they would head to Japan for the second round. The final four then meets in San Francisco, so it's possible Bernadina will be away from the Nationals for as many as 25 days before appearing in his first official spring training game.

"It's tough," he said. "It's something new for me. It's a challenge. But I want to represent my country, too. I'm looking forward to it. I want to take the team as far as we can. But I also don't want to miss too many spring training games so I can get ready for the season. I'll get myself ready somehow over there."

43 comments:

Theophilus T. S. said...

Not to mention old pal Shairon Martis is on the Netherlands roster. Maybe he'll pitch another no-hitter.

Anna Peregrina said...

Honkball! I like it.

waddu eye no said...

"Long day of flying," the outfielder said, "but it's worth it."

uh, roger? that's what Flying Dutchmen do.

have a safe trip and come back in one piece.

NatsLady said...

On the Nats list of "accelerated prospects" where is Carlos Rivera? Peric? And what does "accelerated" actually mean in practice?

nationals-release-accelerated-development-roster.html

http://www.masnsports.com/byron_kerr/2013/02/nationals-release-accelerated-development-roster.html

JD said...


I think Roger is a perfect 4th outfielder and an integral part of our team. I hope he stays with us at least until we win a title.

Tcostant said...

Nats Insider sale today, opening day sold out!

UnkyD said...

NL said:
On the Nats list of "accelerated prospects" where is Carlos Rivera? Peric? And what does "accelerated" actually mean in practice?
-------
Could it be that these gentlemen are in the big camp (Purke, as well?)?

natsfan1a said...

I wasn't trying for opening day but I obtained my bobblehead #2 game tix after a short (10-minute) wait.

alexva said...

those players on the 40 man roster

Theophilus T. S. said...

All of the 40s are in the "major league" camp; the "minor league camp" starts next week; this camp is "accelerated" to the extent it gives thes guys a few extra days. That's all it means to me.

MicheleS said...

Good Luck and have fun Roger. Just stay healthy! Honkball.. that's hilarious

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Roger is a star on that Dutch team! Go get 'em Shark!

NatsLady said...

Interesting. Nats are not the only team with "issues" related to base-stealing. Here is a (long) article on how the Rangers are working on it.

foes-ran-wild-in-2012-but-here-s-why-rangers-could-have-hope-of-improving

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/texas-rangers/headlines/20130220-grant-foes-ran-wild-in-2012-but-here-s-why-rangers-could-have-hope-of-improving.ece?action=reregister

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Good article NatsLady. Clearly there are several teams as poor as the Nats.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Tweets coming across that Dan Haren's morning live BP wasn't great.

Too early to panic but just a mention.

SonnyG10 said...
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sm13 said...

Ghost - as a veyeran do you think Hareni s just holding back? It is an extra long spring

NatsLady said...

Not seeing those Tweets, Ghost. I must not be following the right tweeps....

Scooter said...

Don't misuse your imagination, folks!

courtesy sjm308

JD said...


SonnyG10,

That's very kind of you. We would love to take you up on your offer. Please let me know how to get in touch with you.

SCNatsFan said...

I remember going to Amsterdam for a bachelor party and not seeing any honkball but a whole lot of other interesting things

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I'm hearing about what some of the Nats pitchers are specifically working on. Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, and Ross Detwiler are all working on secondary pitches.

JZim is working on his changeup, Stras is working on his 2-seam sinker, and Det is working on his curve and changeup.

Stras has a good 2 seamer and he threw it 12% of the time but it didn't always get the desired rolling over the pitch for a grounder.

Not sure what Gio is working on. I know from the playoffs that Gio had more walks than K's and struggled with a high pitch count and I have long thought that when Gio's curveball isn't working he starts nibbling with the fastballs and needs another pitch.

I did an analysis of Gio's average for pitches per inning in the regular season and what I found is that when Gio is "on" he is very efficient and when his curveball efficiency decreases by 15% or more in strikes to balls, his pitch count soars above the average.

Over 6 full innings Gio averages over 96 pitches but when I compare that to Jordan Zimmermann's average, JZim was at 94 pitches for 6 innings. It tells me that over the season, its an illusion of sorts because of the vast inconsistencies that Gio would have and mind you in some of those games with inconsistencies, Gio got the Win. Gio pitched 8 games in which he averaged under 13.99 pitches per inning and 7 games in which he averaged over 21.00 pitches per inning and 14 games where Gio averaged 18.00+ pitches per inning.

For 32 starts per season, 14 games (44% of starts) where a pitcher is going to be at 108 pitches or more if he lasts 6 innings I think is too much.

Again, Gio won 21 games last year as he made the high pitch counts work most times, but will it eventually catch up with Gio or is this who he is?

The different projections for 2013 have Gio dropping off to 14 to 16 wins in 2013 which is still very good if he gets 16 wins.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

sm13 said...
Ghost - as a veyeran do you think Haren is just holding back? It is an extra long spring

February 21, 2013 12:03 PM


I would definitely think he is pacing himself. Mark's Tweet said Davey talked to Haren after his session.

Probably nothing to be alarmed about. He may throw his live BP at 60% effort.

Ramos said Strasburg was at 70% effort.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, what did you see with Haren's BP?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN Lerner says #Nats season ticket sales have almost reached 20,000 cap. Significant increase from last year.

Doc said...

Me thinks SCNatsFan that if I were in Amersterdam for a bachelor party, honkball would be way down on my list. LOL

Ghost, from a previous interview it appears that Haren will not throw certain pitches early in spring. Be interesting to see his record over his past ST's.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
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Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc, that would be my guess. Not a big deal if he is getting hit hard in his 1st BP if its part of his typical routine and his body feels great.

I think its more important to find out how he feels.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Amanda Comak ‏@acomak
Garcia said he was told he did not have appendicitis & is "very confident" his forearm tightness is nothing major. Only feels it on fastball

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I see ESPN 980 is doing a pre-recorded interview of Bryce Harper at the same time 106.7 goes with Mike Rizzo.

SonnyG10 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Section 222 said...

Almost forgot about that "cap" on season ticket sales. Still don't believe it.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Of Steve M. said...

At the bottom of the page is the link to listen to the Matt Vasgersian interview and at the 9 minute mark goes off on the Biogenesis debacle as Gonat stated.

Prior to that is that Vasgersian sees no way that Bryce has a sophomore slump.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/02/21/harper-could-avoid-sophomore-slump-by-joining-30-30-club/

NatsJack in Florida said...

Haren was sharp. Threw all sinkers and what appeared to be one breaking pitch. Only 2 balls hit hard and both by Tyler Moore with most balls being hit were worm burners. Had several swings and misses.

Tony said...

So NatsJack is saying Mark Zuckerman lied to his tweeps, just like Gio did. Demand an investigation!

SonnyG10 said...

My tickets have been spoken for.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, thanks! Just a difference in observations. I wasn't too concerned by Mark's tweet but certainly with nothing else going on a good discussion item.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, here was Mark's tweet earlier:

Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN Long conversation between Davey and Haren following live BP session. Didn't seem as sharp as some other guys yesterday.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I think there is a difference between 'someone was sharp' and 'someone was not as sharp as others'. they don't necessarily negate each other.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Ghost.....Harens first severall (perhaps 3 or 4) pitches from the stretch were up in the zone where all pitches from the wind up were at the knees.

Other than that, he looked good. Looking like Stras or Det who djinfl said was terrific might be a tall order.

NCNatsie said...

I think I may have played some intramural honkball when I was in college.

mo nats said...

NatsLady, Carlos Rivera is in camp now with the big boys - #19 on the roster. He's looked good at the infield sessions and I haven't seen him in the cage for BP.

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