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Washington Nationals' 2012 Opening Day Roster Almost Set, Roger Bernadina And The Curse Of The Shark.

The Washington Nationals lost the last Grapefruit League game of the season this afternoon, dropping a 4-2 decision to the same Boston Red Sox they'll be playing tomorrow afternoon in Nationals Park in the final exhibition game of the Spring. Before today's game the Nats announced that Drew Storen, Chien-Ming Wang, Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel would start the 2012 campaign on the DL. That meant veterans Chad Tracy, Xavier Nady, Brett Carroll and rookie Steve Lombardozzi would officially make the Opening Day roster. The final decision to be made will be made in D.C. according to reports out of Florida this morning. One of three relievers, either Craig Stammen, Chad Durbin or Ryan Mattheus will officially be named the 25th man at some point before Thursday's season opener with Chicago.

Brett Carroll, 29, didn't start today's game, but he got three at bats this afternoon, going 0 for 3. Chad Tracy, 31, was 2 for 4. Lombardozzi was 1 for 3 with a double. Chad Durbin was the first pitcher out of the pen after Jordan Zimmermann this afternoon (Zimmermann's line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K's), and the 34-year-old reliever gave up a run on two hits while recording two K's. The Nationals runs this afternoon came on a Danny Espinosa HR in the fourth and an Ian Desmond RBI single in the eighth. The big news, however, was an injury to Roger Bernadina, who earlier this morning had been named the likely Opening Day center fielder...


April 2009: Coming off a 2008 season which saw a then-24-year-old Roger Bernadina post a combined .335/.400/.490 line at Double-and-Triple-A and make his MLB debut, the former Montreal Expos' prospect was sent back to Triple-A to start the season with Lastings Milledge named the team's starting center fielder. Seven games into the season, Milledge, who'd struggled, going 4 for 24 in his first seven games, was sent to Triple-A Syracuse and Bernadina was recalled. Three games later, however, in his first start in center, the outfielder suffered a fractured right ankle on a leaping play at the wall in Nationals Park.


April 2012: With the Nationals unable to find a prototypical center fielder/leadoff man on the free agent or trade market, with Bryce Harper in Syracuse, and with Rick Ankiel headed to the DL to start the season, Davey Johnson tells reporters, including the Washington Times' Amanda Comak (as reported on Twitter @AComak) that though he, "... reserves the right to change his mind... right now [he's] 'leaning toward' giving Bernadina Opening Day start in CF at Wrigley." Bernadina, who just returned from his home country of Curacao, where he was attending the funeral for his father, started today's game, and he reached first on an error in the first at bat of the game when...

The Nationals later announced that the injury was just a "right knee contusion" which left the outfielder day-to-day at this point. Bernadina told reporters after the game, as reported by's Dan Kolko (@DanKolko), "... there's a little swelling in his right knee, but he expects to be ready for opening day." Crisis hopefully averted. There's no Curse of the Shark.

• Assuming Roger Bernadina's okay, here are the 25 players who will be on the Nationals' Opening Day Roster:


  1. Stephen Strasburg - RHP
  2. Gio Gonzalez - LHP
  3. Jordan Zimmermann - RHP
  4. Edwin Jackson - RHP
  5. John Lannan - LHP
  1. Brad Lidge - RHP
  2. Henry Rodriguez - RHP
  3. Sean Burnett - LHP
  4. Ross Detwiler - LHP
  5. Tom Gorzelanny - LHP
  6. Tyler Clippard - RHP
  7. Ryan Mattheus, Chad Durbin, Craig Stammen?
  1. Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
  2. Ian Desmond - SS
  3. Danny Espinosa - 2B
  4. Adam LaRoche - 1B
  5. Steve Lombardozzi - Bench
  6. Mark DeRosa - Bench
  7. Chad Tracy - Bench
  1. Wilson Ramos - C
  2. Jesus Flores - C
  1. Jayson Werth - CF/RF
  2. Roger Bernadina - OF
  3. Brett Carroll - OF
  4. Xavier Nady - OF
• Your 2012 Nats' Opening Day Roster? Who's the biggest surprise? Did you think Lombardozzi would make it? DeRosa/Carroll-Bernadina-Werth on Opening Day?