Classic could have Bernadina traveling far and wide
VIERA, Fla. -- While Ross Detwiler will have a simple domestic flight out to Arizona, and Gio Gonzalez can make the drive down to Miami in three hours, fellow Nationals World Baseball Classic participant Roger Bernadina needs a travel agent to sort out his potential impending trips.
The three are each set to participate in the event -- Detwiler and Gonzalez playing for Team USA, with Gonzalez expected to only participate if the U.S. makes it to the second round, and Bernadina for the Netherlands -- but it'll be Bernadina racking up the frequent flyer miles should his team advance.
The Netherlands opens pool play on March 2 at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan, against Korea. The team then plays March 5 against Australia. Should the Netherlands advance to the second round, play begins on March 8 in Tokyo. The championship round is at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
"That's part of the job now," Bernadina said. "That's just the way it is. I'm looking forward to it."
The Nats have four players from the organization playing for the Dutch team, though the other three are Minor Leaguers: Robbie Cordemans, Spencer Kieboom and Randolph Oduber. Top Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar recently said he will not participate, but young Braves standout Andrelton Simmons is expected to bat leadoff and play shortstop for the team.
As for Bernadina, he said he began his offseason workouts a little sooner this winter, but he is trying to keep everything else the same as the World Baseball Classic nears and the Nationals prepare to open their Spring Training schedule on Saturday.
"You've been sitting for like three months not doing anything, and you've got to quickly get used to it with the bat speed and everything like that," Bernadina said. "But it's just a matter of time. I have to be ready for whatever. I'm just going to go play my game, and see what happens from there."