Results tagged ‘ Brad Bergesen ’

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.”

Bergesen's day

Brad Bergesen had a rough outing in his first start back since being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk for the second time this season.  When asked after the Orioles 6-5 win if Bergesen would get to make his next start interim manager Juan Samuel said, at this point, yes.

“He only gave us 4 innings,” Samuel said. “He needs to throw his bullpen. As it is now, yes, he is going to get his next start. You hope he can relax and give us some innings next time.”

After throwing 36 pitches through the first two frames, Bergesen tossed 29 in the third, allowing four runs and putting the Orioles in an early hole for the second time in less than 24 hours.

He issued a leadoff walk to No. 9 batter Ian Desmond, and plunked Cristian Guzman one out later. Ryan Zimmerman’s ball found a hole on the left side of the infield, with Cesar Izturis making a great back-handed stop but couldn’t throw to third in time. Izturis’ play was one of several just-misses for the Orioles, who weren’t charged with any errors but had several chances to get out of the inning.

Bergesen allowed another run in the fourth inning and hasn’t allowed less than four earned runs in a start since he held Kansas City to three runs over 6 2/3 on May 17.

“We still didn’t see a whole lot of sink, and we know he needs that,” Samuel said.  “He needs to sink the ball. We saw some earlier in the game, but as the game went on his pitches started staying up. He needs to get his sinker back. That’s how he’s going to have success.”
Bergesen said he felt like he had a decent sinker for most of the game, but had a few mistakes that proved costly.

“I felt like I had all my pitches, I felt like my arm angle was good,” Bergesen said. “But really that leadoff walk in the third inning and then that pitch to Dunn were really my two big mistakes.”

“He didn’t have it all the time [on Saturday], but he showed signs of the old Bergy sinker,” catcher Matt Wieters said.  “Especially when we’d go away from left-handers. We’ve got to get back to where we can throw it into right-handers as well. It will come.”

Bergesen is 3-4 with a 6.83 ERA in 13 games and has had two separate stints in Triple-A Norfolk to work on reestablishing his sinker. While Samuel said Bergesen is in line to make his next start, it’s something to keep an eye on. He is next scheduled to pitch against Boston at Fenway Park, and if he’s not right that could be an ugly game, damaging to the Orioles and to Bergesen’s confidence.

What now with Atkins?

It’s the million-dollar question lately. Acquiring Jake Fox via today’s trade is pretty much the nail in the coffin on Garrett Atkins’ already-depleted playing time. 

This is purely speculation, but Atkins could be designated for assignment when the Orioles make a roster move for Saturday and recall Brad Bergesen. They could try to get him a few more at-bats this week at home (now back with the DH) in a last-ditch effort. But, to me, getting Fox pretty much signals that the O’s have given up on Atkins and are willing to absorb the $5 million mistake.


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.   

Orioles off, but Bergy will pitch

The Orioles will watch Brad Bergesen’s outing in Triple-A Norfolk very closely on Monday, as a solid performance will most likely result in Bergesen making Saturday’s start against the Nationals. To clarify on a few emails I got, Stephen Stasburg will not pitch in that series against the Os this weekend.

It’s likely Chris Tillman won’t either, but it’s still an option. If the O’s elect to go with Bergesen there will likely be a roster move on Tuesday. since they don’t want Tillman sitting in the ‘pen. They will want to get him a start at Norfolk and perhaps call up an extra arm for a few days before naming Saturday’s starer.

I know Mark Hendrickson was a possibility for Saturday’s start, but he hasn’t looked that great in his last few outings. Jason Berken has done so well in the ‘pen, I’d have to think they’d be hesitant to call on him for a spot start.

Stay tuned.

Saturday's starter

How do people get anything done here in San Diego? Honestly, it’s beautiful. And perfect.

Brad Bergesen
started last night at Norfolk and will make his next start on three days rest so he’s in line for Saturday’s Orioles game against the Nationals. As long as he gets his mechanics right (aka his sinkerball returns) he will make that start. He’s the O’s preferred option, and that move would put Chris Tillman back in Norfolk’s rotation.

Tillman to BP, Os skip his next start

SAN FRANCISCO–The Orioles will skip starter Chris Tillman’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, using Thursday and Monday’s off days to offset the shorter turn. In the interim, Tillman will be moved to the bullpen temporarily.

The O’s won’t need a fifth starter until June 26 versus the Washington Nationals, and for now interim manager Juan Samuel said the team would rather an extra arm than a bat for Interleague play. Tillman –who allowed six earned runs over two innings in Monday’s loss to the Giants — won’t be available out of the ‘pen for Tuesday’s game, but could be used as a long relief man at some point during this six-game West Coast swing.

Both Samuel and pitching coach Rick Kranitz reiterated that Tillman will be a starter long-term with the organization and the move to is a temporary one that is more out of necessity.

When Tillman (0-3, 8.40 ERA) will make his next Major League start, however, is anyone’s guess. With the move to send Brad Bergesen back to Triple-A Norfolk, Kranitz confirmed that Bergesen could very well make that start on the 26th in place instead of Tillman.

Tillman’s loss on Monday marked the second time in four starts that he has failed to make it to the third inning. The 22-year-old’s lack of velocity –he didn’t break 90 mph — was particularly frustrating. Samuel said the key for Tillman, who typically tops out at 94 mph, will be to come out throwing hard and establish his fastball.

Without Tillman, the rest of the Os rotation will remain the same. Rookie Jake Arrieta will throw Sunday’s finale in San Diego. It’s important to note the decision to skip Tillman was one that Kranitz said the Orioles had already taken under consideration prior to Monday’s game. Since the Orioles have two off days in a span of a few days, a five-man rotation would give the O’s arms a week in between starts, which is something Kranitz was hesitant to do.

Os/Yanks Game 2 lineups and tidbits

*In case you missed it, Jake Arrieta will make his Major League debut against the Yanks tomorrow night. The Os will have to add him to their 40-man (and take someone off) so look for a roster move tonight or early Thursday.

*Corey Patterson (who was day to day with a slight groin issue) is available if needed tonight. 

*Alfredo Simon (left hamstring strain) is progressing well in Sarasota and interim manager Juan Samuel was hopeful he would be ready for the team’s West Coast trip which starts Monday in San Francisco.

*Felix Pie started a throwing program and has been hitting off the tee down in Sarasota with no reported pain.

*The Orioles insist there is no exact plan for right-hander Brad Bergesen, who had his last start skipped and was moved to the bullpen -in hopes of straightening out his arm slot — for an unspecified amount of time.  Bergesen will remain in the ‘pen for now, but that could change in the next few days. Stay tuned.

Julio Lugo 2B
Miguel Tejada 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott LF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Garrett Atkins DH
Cesar Izturis SS
Chris Tillman RHP

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Kevin Russo LF
CC Sabathia LHP

It's Official: Jake tomorrow

The Orioles have confirmed that Jake Arrieta will start Thursday’s game against the Yankees. Jeremy Guthrie will slide back to Friday which leaves Brad Bergesen as the odd man out, at least for right now. Bergesen will remain in the bullpen and interim manager Juan Samuel said what they do with him will largely depend on what the team’s needs are the next few days.

Ditto goes for the roster move. The Orioles will need to make a move to get Arrieta on the 40-man roster prior to tomorrow night’s game. And yes, Guthrie is healthy. But the Os felt it was better to keep Arrieta on his schedule –he was due to pitch Thursday in Norfolk — and give Guthrie and Brian Matusz an extra day of rest. More to come on the site…

Arrieta's first test

Well, the Orioles have said they like top prospect Jake Arrieta’s confidence, and he’s going to need every bit of that for his debut, which is expected to be Thursday against the New York Yankees.

While the initial thought was Arrieta would debut on Saturday in place of Brad Bergesen, it’s looking now like Jeremy Guthrie will be pushed back a day and Arrieta will stay on track (he was scheduled to throw Thursday in Norfolk anyhow.) This move also helps Guthrie –who was dealing with soreness last start — get another day in between starts.

Nothing is official, but I should have more on this situation later this afternoon when I get to the ballpark. As for the corresponding roster move, it could be a reliever, such as Alberto Castillo, but that will depend on the state of the Os ‘pen after tonight’s game. They could opt to send out a position player if they feel they are short on arms…