Trying times for Bergesen this season

BALTIMORE — Orioles right-hander Brad Bergesen isn’t going to lie: this
season has been the most trying of his career.

“Definitely my hardest year, by far,” said Bergesen, who is 3-4 with a
6.83 ERA and has twice been sent back down to Triple-A Norfolk.

“There’s no doubt there’s been times that I’ve struggled, [but] nothing
like this before,” Bergesen said. “When you find yourself getting into a
rut, [Major League] hitters they are seeing your stats, they walk in
with all the confidence in the world. So, it just makes it tough on a
regular basis to get yourself out of that hole, or out of that jam.”

Bergesen allowed five earned runs over four innings in his last outing
— which was his first start since being recalled from Norfolk — but
said he will take some positives out of the game against the Nationals
on June 26.

“It’s not a good outing whatsoever, but I felt good [physically],”
Bergesen said. “[Pitching coach Rick Kranitz] told me it’s the best arm
angle he’s seen all year. So, you have to take the positives sometimes. I
was getting my ground balls, [just] a couple mistakes in certain

A sinkerball pitcher who lives on fastball movement, Bergesen had a fine
rookie campaign cut short last season, when he took a liner to the shin
on July 31. This spring, he worked his way back from a strained right
shoulder capsule suffered filming a team commercial in December, but
after three poor starts to open the year, he was sent to Triple-A to get
things straightened out. Bergesen was also placed in the O’s bullpen
temporarily to work out a mechanical issue, before being sent to the
Tides for a second time.

On Wednesday, Bergesen acknowledged that he’s learned it’s just as hard
to stay in the Major Leagues as it is to get there.

“I believe 100 percent that I should be at this level,” Bergesen said.

“I’m pretty confident right now. I’m going out there, thinking it’s a
fresh start every outing, and not carrying my last one with me, whether
it was good or bad. And just constantly looking ahead and working hard
right now.”


Brad led the starters in ERA 3.43 and had a winning record 7-5 his rookie year —yet most promos list Guthrie as last years team leader in ERA. Brad will be fine if we get him an infield to field all those ground balls. Tommy John (remember him?) lived by the sinkerball and had a successful career after losing his fastball and having –Ahem “Tommy John surgery”——-sinkerballers CAN win lots of games if they master their sinkers.

Just want to say I enjoy your columns ,well thought out and interesting –keep up the good work!

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