CHICAGO -- The Nationals have a new platoon system in right field. Manager Jim Riggleman announced Wednesday that Roger Bernadina and Justin Maxwell will split the duties, while Willie Harris and Willy Taveras will go back on the bench.
Riggleman went so far as to say that he wants Bernadina or Maxwell to one day take over the position on a regular basis. With the Nats facing four right-handed starters the next four games, including Wednesday's contest against the Cubs, Bernadina will get the starts.
"I'm hoping Roger will jump in there and jump with that," Riggleman said. "We'll give Willie a couple of games in left field and mix him around in the infield. His value to us is so high coming off the bench that it would be nice if Roger could latch on to the job from the left side. Only time will tell."
Maxwell will face left-handed pitching. He is 4-for-14 [.286] with a home run and two RBIs against southpaws.
Washington has already used six right fielders this season, and none of them have really stepped up to the challenge. Entering Wednesday, they were hitting a combined .145 with three home runs and 13 RBIs, but made only one error this season.
Bernadina, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday night, arrived from Toledo at 7 a.m. ET. He saw Riggleman in the lobby of the team hotel, and Bernadina was informed by his boss that he would be starting against the Cubs on Wednesday.
Bernadina was able to get an hour of sleep and then headed to Wrigley Field.
Bernadina has hit safely in 12 of the 13 games he's played this season at the Triple-A level, including all seven games during the past week. Five of his past six games were multihit efforts, giving him a league-best 13 hits to go along with a .464 average for the week.