Roger Bernadina was removed from last night's game with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, and he posted the following words, "De Haai is terug!!!" on his official facebook page, so it was assumed that the Washington Nationals' 27-year-old, 4th-year outfielder was on his way back to the nation's capital in time to join the Nats as they take on the New York Mets this weekend, and the Nats made it official this afternoon. Laynce Nix, as Davey Johnson told reporters following last night's game, is going to be out for a while. "Any time you pull a little groin muscle you're going to be out for a while," the Nats' Skipper said, "I don't think it was real bad, but any time you pull something like that it's going to be a while."
Bernadina's .250/.339/.415 line in 46 games and 188 plate appearances with Triple-A Syracuse is about the same production the Nationals got out of him in the Majors where he has a .247/.312/.352 slash with the Nats this year. Bernadina hit nine doubles, five HR's and 14 stolen bases with Syracuse, and has nine doubles, five HR's and 16 SB's over 71 games with Washington. Michael Morse is expected to see time in left with Chris Marrero at first, and with Nix hurt it would make sense that Werth goes back to right and Bernadina goes back to center, though Rick Ankiel's out there and batting second tonight.
• Update 3:10 pm EDT: According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the Shark is in Nats Park, and has been recalled.
• Update: 3:45 pm EDT: Apparently Tom Milone (tomorrow's starter) and Brad Peacock are in Nats Park as well. No official announcements yet.
• Sign Yu Darvish: ESPN.com's Buster Olney, in a recent post entitled, "Last-minute deals have postseason impact", writes that a "high-ranked official" is sure that Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish (who, Mr. Olney notes, has, "... a 1.54 ERA, 47 walks and 222 strikeouts in 202 innings," this season in Japan), will pitch for an MLB team next year. "'He's coming [to the U.S.],'" Mr. Olney quotes the official stating, "'And he's going to be expensive.'"
ESPN.com's Mr. Olney speculates that in spite of the Kei Igawa signing and the fact that the Yankees have watched closely as things went wrong for Daisuke Matsuzaka in Boston, New York will be involved in the bidding for the 25-year-old starter. MLBTraderumors.com, referencing reports by MLB.com's Bill Ladson about the Nats' continued interest in Darvish, have Washington on a list of six teams that will likely have interest in signing the pitcher.
Last winter, there was talk of Yu Darvish leaving Japan for Major League Baseball, and the Washington Nationals expressed interest and reportedly sent scouts to watch the 6'5'' right-hander with Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reporting that the, "Nationals scouts have seen Darvish pitch in person at least nine times, including several games in Japan." NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman noted on the Twitter that reports from Japanese papers said that the Diamondbacks were willing to spend around $80 million on Darvish, with $25M of that just going to the "posting" fee that has to be paid before a team wins the right to negotiate a deal with the pitcher.
Hard as the Nats found it to acquire a pitcher on the free agent market last winter, it will be interesting to see how seriously D.C. GM Mike Rizzo's front office pursues Yu Darvish, but the idea of adding a pitcher widely considered the best pitcher outside MLB right now to a rotation with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann should be enough to convince the Nationals to take a serious look.