CHICAGO -- Roger Bernadina had a solid 2012 campaign for the Nationals, hitting .291 with a .372 on-base percentage and 15 stolen bases in 129 games. But following a poor performance in 85 games for the club in 2013, he was released Monday to make room for newly acquired outfielder David DeJesus.
The outfielder, nicknamed "The Shark," hit just .178 (27-for-152) this season.
"I'm sorry to see Bernadina go," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He had such a great career here for the Nationals, and I'm sure he'll land on his feet somewhere."
Johnson said that part of the reason Bernadina struggled so mightily this season may have been the lack of regular at-bats early on.
"He's still kind of a young player," said Johnson. "And any time you don't have the opportunity to come out of Spring Training and get some at-bats early to get something going positive early, it's a lot more difficult for a younger player to sit around for a week and maybe lose his timing, and then get in and perform."
"Roger just struggled mightily this year and could never get it going," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "Mechanically, he never got himself righted.
"He's a guy with an abundance of tools and skills, and really hit within himself last year and utilized his speed and line drives and that sort of thing. He just could never get on track this year, and it was something we were waiting for throughout the season, and it just didn't happen."
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.