The Cincinnati Reds may not have had ideal options when it came to replacing lefty slugger Jay Bruce, but bringing back Roger Bernadina after releasing him was a waste of a roster spot.
Bernadina does have some ability as a defensive outfielder, capable of playing all three positions with a decent throwing arm, and his natural athleticism is just tantalizing enough to keep the intrigue that Bernadina may some day actually flourish into a big league hitter.
But the time eventually comes when the statistics are what they say they are. Bernadina has reached that point. His time with the Washington Nationals ended after a .181 batting average in 227 at-bats last year, which confirmed that the .291 he hit the year before for the Nationals in the exact same number of at-bats was a fluke.
Bernadina is a career .237 hitter with slightly above average speed. He made the Reds out of spring training instead of an emerging player like Donald Lutz, who still stands to be promoted to the Reds to replace Bernadina on the roster if Lutz can return from injury soon.
The Reds released Bernadina once Skip Schumaker recovered from a shoulder injury, and rightfully so as Bernadina was hitting just .143 in 28 at-bats.
The Reds have other outfield prospects in the minors like Yorman Rodriguez and Ryan LaMarre who could have got the shot to join the parent club when Bruce was sent to the disabled list, but, like Lutz, they are injured. Still, even fading prospects like left-handed hitting Felix Perez or Josh Fellhauer would be preferable to Bernadina at this point because the Reds need something more than what Bernadina offers.
Veteran experience like Bernadina’s should not be prioritized over inexperience when the results of that experience have little value.