WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina acknowledged that during his first few callups to the big leagues, he was in awe of his surroundings and didn't make the necessary adjustments to be successful in the batter's box.
But since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on April 28, Bernadina has taken advantage of his everyday status in right field. Entering Wednesday's action, Bernadina was hitting .285 with four home runs and 20 RBIs. In his past 16 games, Bernadina is 21-for-61 [.344] with two home runs and eight RBIs.
Bernadina said experience in the Majors and hard work are the reasons he is giving opposing pitchers problems of late.
"Right now I'm doing much better than I did before," Bernadina said. "I just want to be productive. Now I'm focused on the opportunity. I'm not trying to do too much. It's more experience in the big leagues. My mindset is different now than it was in the past.
"When I first came to the big leagues, I wasn't used to the [big-league atmosphere] and I didn't adjust to the breaking pitches. Now I have adjusted. They are throwing me inside and I have adjusted. Those are the little things that I didn't do before. I'm staying focused."
With Cristian Guzman getting the day off, manager Jim Riggleman put Bernadina in the second spot in the batting order against the Royals because of the latter's patience at the plate. For several weeks, Riggleman thought about putting Bernadina near the top of the order, but the skipper prefers to put Bernadina down in the lineup to drive in runs.
Bernadina said he doesn't have a preference on where he hits.
"I'm not going to worry about it right now," Bernadina said. "I'm going to let the manager make the decision. Whatever I need to do to help the ballclub, it sounds good to me."
Zimmermann nearing rehab assignment
WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann returned to extended spring camp in Viera, Fla., on Wednesday, and the plan is for Zimmermann to start a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac in a couple of weeks.
Zimmermann is currently on the disabled list because of elbow reconstruction.
"Jordan Zimmermann is, according to his rehab calendar, probably a couple weeks away from going on a rehab start.," general manager Mike Rizzo said.
All-Star voting moves online for Nats fans
WASHINGTON -- Wednesday's game between the Nationals and Royals marked the final day of in-stadium All-Star Game balloting at Nationals Park.
Among the Nationals, Ivan Rodriguez is within striking distance of an All-Star start, ranking third among Nationals League catchers
With in-stadium balloting at Nationals Park closing, fans can support Rodriguez and his teammates only through online voting. Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, available exclusively at MLB.com which runs through July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET on MLB.com.