Bergesen in limbo
NEW YORK — Tuesday’s rainout further clouded the Orioles’ plans regarding right-handed pitcher Brad Bergesen, who remains in roster limbo while the team tries to shake out what its needs are over the next five games.
Bergesen, who is unofficially with the team in New York, was expected to be activated and make Wednesday’s start at Yankee Stadium, but Tuesday’s postponement pushed back Tuesday’s starter Chris Tillman instead. The Orioles chose to keep Jake Arrieta on turn for Thursday, effectively skipping Bergesen in the rotation.
While the team would prefer to let Bergesen –who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk Saturday – get stretched out and get back in a rhythm by making a start or two at Norfolk they don’t have that luxury. The O’s starting rotation is thin, with both Brian Matusz and Justin Duchscherer on the disabled list, and the team needs a fifth starter for Sunday in Cleveland. If Wednesday’s game is played –there is rain in the forecast as well – the Orioles will likely activate Bergesen and have him in the bullpen in case Tillman gets bounced from the game early.
Given that J.J. Hardy is ticketed for the 15-day DL, the O’s can recall Bergesen without the usual 10-day waiting period because it’s an injury situation. It would also not burn one of his options. If Wednesday’s game is also rained out things could get trickier since it would erase the need for a fifth start for Sunday and buy the team some more time. In that event, the O’s could send Bergesen to Norfolk until the following week –which would exceed the 10-day rule and make him eligible to be recalled whenever – and possibly call up an extra position player in Hardy’s place.
The team would like to add backup catcher Craig Tatum,but the uncertainty in the starting rotation has limited their options and forced the Orioles to carry an extra arm in order to avoid overtaxing the bullpen.