We've already seen a number of mild surprises at Nationals spring training, including Rick Ankiel winning the starting center field job, Nyjer Morgan getting dealt and Jayson Werth hitting in the No. 2 hole in the lineup. You can now add another one to the list. The team has decided to keep Laynce Nix as a backup outfielder and will send Roger Bernadina down to the minors.
This comes as a surprise because Bernadina played decently given an extended opportunity to show his skills last season and looked to have the inside track on at least one outfield position this spring. But Michael Morse's strong spring training was enough to win a starting gig, and Ankiel beat out Bernadina in center field. Bernadina also has options left, whereas Nix does not. Therefore, the Nationals evidently decided to keep Nix and not risk losing him altogether.
Bernadina will be sent to Minor League camp, and one can bet he will be called up at some point this season, especially if Nix struggles.