WASHINGTON -- Entering Saturday's action against the Phillies, Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina was 28-for-79 (.354) with a .457 on-base percentage in his last 32 games, raised his overall batting average to .300.
Manager Davey Johnson sees a difference in the Bernadina now versus the player who hit .243 in 2011.
"[Compared] to last year, he shortened his stroke. He is more direct to the ball. He is having the pitcher throw the ball in the strike zone better," Johnson said. "He is just a much more mature hitter."
Bernadina has spent most of this season as the team's fourth outfielder. In 2010, Bernadina was an everyday player, but slumped badly during the second half of the season after tiring.
Asked if Bernadina could return to being an everyday player again, Johnson said, "He certainly has the talent for it. He does everything well. I talk about a players' tools. He has five tools. He was out [for almost one full year because of the broken ankle]. He is capable of being a regular again."