Bergesen's start and things to watch for…
Brad Bergesen threw for Triple-A Norfolk tonight, and yielded two runs over five solid innings against Lehigh Valley. He allowed five hits and a walk and struck out four. Pitching on three days rest –which puts him in line for Saturday’s start in Baltimore if needed — Bergesen threw 58 of his 85 pitches for strikes.
Interim manager Juan Samuel said last week that Bergesen had to show he had returned to his mechanics, while pitching coach Rick Kranitz wasn’t ready to just hand Bergesen Saturday’s start. Kranitz didn’t say what it would take for Bergesen to earn the promotion, so I’m not sure if tonight’s effort was good enough. As I blogged yesterday, the decision isn’t just Bergesen or Chris Tillman. The Orioles have given thought to using long man Mark Hendrickson or even Jason Berken. (Although Berken has done so well it’d be hard to justify moving him out of the ‘pen, even if it is just a spot start.)
Monday is an off day so they could feasibly let Bergesen get another outing in Norfolk and go with a four-man rotation next week, following Saturday’s spot start.
Either way, there could be some changes coming this week to the roster. If Tillman doesn’t get Saturday’s start, he will likely be optioned back to Norfolk since the organization has made it clear they won’t let him just sit in the bullpen. If Bergesen earns the spot they could call up a reliever or a position player to have for the next few days before making the starter move official.
Another thing to watch for is the Orioles interest in Jake Fox, which could cost Garrett Atkins his roster spot.
In unrelated, but positive news, Felix Pie’s first day on rehab in the Gulf Coast League went off without a hitch. He could be back at the end of the homestand, which, of course, would cause some more shuffling.
Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold is starting to heat up in Norfolk with a five-game hitting streak entering Tuesday. Since going 0-for-3 on June 15, he is 9-for-20 with two doubles and three RBIs.