Results tagged ‘ Brad Bergesen ’

Roberts, Millwood & Other Musings: Twins-Orioles

The clubhouse will open at 2 p.m. today, and as usual I’ll
have the lineups on here and Twitter
as soon as possible.   Before
looking ahead to tonight’s game against the Twins, I wanted to go back to last
night’s game, which I caught on MLB Network. (Ok, I only watched Brad Bergesen.
Although looking at the box score, I didn’t miss much else on my day off.)

 Bergesen was disappointed
but it’s important to note that he hasn’t thrown in a game situation since July
30. Assuming he’s healthy -and there’s every indication that’s the case – O’s
fans should give him a few starts before any panic sets in.

Kevin Millwood will start tonight’s game in Fort Myers and
it will be interesting to see if he spends the start working on his fourth-best
pitch again
. For the sake of time and storylines, I hope not.

Millwood will be opposed by Scott Baker with Francisco
Liriano, Jon Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Mike Maroth, Brian Duensing
and Rob Delaney
also slated to pitch. While the Orioles camp has been pretty quiet (minus the
B-Rob stuff) the Twins are reeling from what will likely be the loss of closer
Joe Nathan. Eesh.

Speaking of closers, Mike Gonzalez is scheduled to throw
again
on Friday. Koji Uehara, Jim Johnson and Alberto Castillo are slated to appear
in tonight’s game. Trembley told reporters yesterday that he was going to try to stretch Koji out, so he might go more than one inning.

Roberts is supposed to be reevaluated today, so hopefully we
will have an update on that situation later today.

*Also, the team will play a “B” squad game this Sunday at 10 a.m. vs the Pirates at Pirate City in Bradenton. No word on officially who will be making that trip, but you can probably do your best to guess.

Twins-Orioles Wrap

The Recap:
Here’s the game story from today’s 5-0 loss to the Twins.
Brian Matusz was happy with his outing,as was closer Mike Gonzalez.
Chris Tillman gets the ball Tuesday against the Rays, while Brad Bergesen makes his debut on Wednesday.

Follow along here as Brian Matusz faces off with Kevin Slowey in sunny Sarasota, where it’s 66 degrees…

Updated 1:21: Matusz surrendered a leadoff double to Ben Revere but got Nick Punto looking for the game’s first out. Michael Cuddyer’s centerfield single put the Twins on the board and Jason Kubel doubled him in for a quick pair of runs. Matusz sent Brendan Harris down on three straight strikes and got Jacque Jones swinging. 26 pitches, 17 for strikes.

Updated 1:35: 10 pitch inning for Matusz, a K, and two infield ground balls. Nicely done.

Updated 1:41: Minus a leadoff single from Felix Pie, the Orioles haven’t done anything again Twins starter Kevin Slowey. Matusz on to open the third, Twins up 2-0.

Updated 1:48:
That’s it for Matusz. He opened the third with two strikeouts and came out after throwing 46 pitches. After allowing the first-inning hit to Kubel, he retired seven straight. Nice rebound.

Updated 3:02: Mike Gonzalez
pitched around a walk, a double and a single, thanks to a nice cut off throw at the plate by first baseman Luke Scott. Gonzalez struck out Chris Parmelee to end the inning. Jim Johnson gave up a run in the fifth and Koji pitched a scoreless sixth.

Updated 3:32: While I was down getting Matusz and Gonzo, the Twins scored another pair of runs, it’s 5-0 going into the bottom of the ninth.

Bergesen will start vs. the Pirates

You can just tell Brad Bergesen’s been waiting a long time for this interview, the one where the media actually talk about him pitching in a game, instead of how his last flat ground session went.

“Im looking forward to it,” Bergesen said Wednesday’s start, his first game action since July 30 of last season. “Obviously, it’s been a long time coming.”

Bergesen got positive reports back on his live batting practice session on Monday, and also got to practice his fielding, a thought that hadn’t really crossed his mind until Michael Aubrey and Lou Montanez sent his pitches right back at him.

“It kind of caught me offguard,” Bergesen said of the balls, one of which hit his leg and one which he caught.  “But hopefully that did the trick and I’ll be ready to go.”

Bergesen said the Orioles plan with him will be similar to the other starter’s first go-around, two innings or around 35 pitches.

“So I’m happy about it,” Bergesen said.

Bergesen has been slowed this spring by a strained right shoulder
capsule suffered while filming a team commercial in December, and
Wednesday will mark the first time he has taken the mound in a game since being struck with the ball on his left shin during that July 30 start.

After several successful flat mound sessions, Bergesen has been throwing off the mound the last 10 days and said he is becoming more comfortable.

A pleasant surprise last year, Bergesen was 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 19
starts before the shin injury ended his season. He is projected to be
part of a rotation that includes Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brian
Matusz and Chris Tillman.

Wednesday night’s game against the Pirates will start at 7:05, with Ed Smith Stadium’s gates open two hours prior to first pitch. 

Game 1 Recap

If you noticed below, I blogged the pitching lineups for the first five games.

The only pitcher not scheduled to appear in a game right now is Brad Bergesen. Manager Dave Trembley said today that there is a tenative date set for when Bergesen will throw, but he wasn’t willing to share that with the media.

Bergesen will have to go through a live batting practice first, and the team’s training staff will probably have to evaluate him  and make sure he’s 100 percent. He threw off the mound today and said he’s continuing to progress toward the live BP’s. Judging from the ease of his first mound session last week, I’d say Bergesen could see game action in the next 7-10 days. I can’t imagine the Orioles making him throw more than 2 or 3 BPs before clearing him. But we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll have some notable game updates below. Not exactly play-by-play (hey, this is a one-man operation here!) but I’ll do my best…..

Update 1:20 :
Didn’t take long for Tejada to make his mark. He went to his left on a grounder for the first out of the game. Guthrie tossed 17 pitches (13 for strikes) in the first inning. Adam Jones opened the bottom of the first with a walk, but James Shields retired the next three O’s in order.

Update 1:40: Don’t sleep on Wieters. After Guthrie walked leadoff hitter Matt Joyce, Wieters gunned down Joyce at second base. Guthrie did the rest, and is done for the day after tossing 33 pitches (22 for strikes) over two innings.

Will Ohman is in to make his Orioles debut to open the 3rd. Ohman told me yesterday he couldn’t possibly have a worse debut than his outing with the Braves last year. Afterwards he told the media, “Hey, I was just trying to take the pressure off everyone else.”

He looks better now, erasing a leadoff walk by ending the inning on a double play.

Update 1:52: Josh Bell just crushed a homer over the right center field fence. What a beauty.

Update 3:00: Bell homered again, this time from the right side and Rhyne Hughes preceded him with a two-runs shot. The Orioles are up 7-2.

Updated 3:10: Make that 8-2, as Scott Moore just sent one over the fence. What a slugfest.

Updated 3:50: 12-2 Final. Josh Bell and Rhyne Hughes homered twice, while Scott Moore and Nick Markakis also went yard.

Here’s Guthrie on his outing:

“It’s nice to be out there and mix in a few pitches,” Guthrie said. “I
tried to keep the fastball down as much as I could and felt like I was
able to do that pretty good for a first outing.

“It’s a good one to build
off of and it’s nice to get back out there and get the butterflies out
of the system. It felt like I hadn’t pitched for five months, so it’s
nice to get back out there and get it started again.”   

  

 

Updated: Bergesen Throws off the Mound

It’s downpouring and windy, but luckily I was the only reporter with the foresight to bring an umbrella.  The reporters watched from a small awning as Brad Bergesen threw to Matt Wieters amid backup catcher Chad Moeller announcing, “Ladies and gentleman, Brad Bergesen.”

Bergesen looked comfortable in his first mound session since injuring his shoulder. He tossed a normal length session under the watchful eye of pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

“It was like he didn’t miss a beat,” Kranitz said.”If you told me he hadn’t thrown in five months, I would have said, ‘You’re a liar.’ He was good.”

Bergersen threw 28 pitches, mostly fastballs, although Kranitz said he was pushing to throw more. The 24-year-old Bergesen estimated he was throwing at about 75 percent and was pleasantly surprised with his location and sink.

“I was a little surprised about it, didn’t know what to expect,” Bergesen said of his first mound toss since the fateful commercial in December. “I was just getting up there and getting the cobwebs out of there, but I was able to get the ball down and throw my two seamer.”

Added Wieters: “He had his sink back already, he was able to locate the fastball which is the biggest thing coming back [and] getting back on the mound.”

Manager Dave Trembley said Bergesen’s session made a “gray day sunny” for him, and for now the plan is for Bergesen to throw two more side sessions before a live batting practice.

“I think we all just wanted to get through this phase,” Trembley said, following Saturday’s session.  “I was confident he was going to be OK, but the questions weren’t going to be answered fully until he got up on the mound.”

Given Bergesen’s impressive first go-around, Wieters said he “definitely” thought the right-hander would be ready for the beginning of the season.

“He’s going to get his work in for sure,” Wieters said.”Bergy’s a guy who has his command and he will be ready to go Day 1 [of the season].”

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Erbe Extras & Bergy's first mound session

I got a bunch of emails about my story on Brandon Erbe’s new delivery, so I thought I’d put up some pictures and notes that didn’t make it in. It’s raining and dreary here (on picture day), and the media won’t be allowed in the locker room for at least the next hour.

The Orioles will hit in the indoor cages and everyone who was expected to throw, such as Brad Bergesen, who was slated to throw for the first time off a mound, is still a go. I will have a story up on how that goes on the site later. 

Erbe1.jpg

Erbe2.jpg

Both of these pics are from Erbe’s bullpen session yesterday. Here’s what he had to say about his goals for the upcoming season…

“I wouldn’t say it’s a specific level. Obviously being in the Minor Leagues, you always want to get to the next step. For the Minor Leagues, for me, I want to get to Triple-A and than past there,obviously.

You want to make steps, I’m hoping to do that this year. But  I’m try to build off the consistency I was able to have last year. I was a lot more consistent with my outings and the starts and the results .”

Erbe has been pretty happy with his first few bullpens this spring, and talked at length about the importance of keeping his control.

“The control was my downfall, control and consistency,” he said. “They kind of go hand in hand. That’s why I’m taking a lot of effort right now to keep the ball down, I was up in the zone so much I gave up a lot of home runs [in the past.] and stuff like that. So, just keep the ball down and be more consistent from start to start. If I can do those things, I should be more successful. I’m just trying to keep those two things together.”

Bergesen to throw off mound Saturday

Seems Brad Bergesen’s persistence paid off. The right-hander who manager Dave Trembley said yesterday has been “wrestling” with him to get back on the hill, will do just that on Saturday.

Bergesen has been slowed this spring as the 24-year-old continues to work his way back from a strained right shoulder capsule suffered while filming a commercial in early December. He tossed flat ground sessions on Tuesday and Thursday and has been making strides with each outing.

On Wednesday, Trembley preached patience and said he was leaning toward giving Bergesen another flat ground session Saturday.

“He really has done remarkably well [in his progression],” Trembley said. “He’s going to be fine. We have lots of time to get him
right back in to where he should be and to get his pitches up, etc.”

Now, the plan is for Bergesen to test his progression on the mound on Saturday. There’s no word on how long his bullpen session will be.  In talking to Bergesen this past week and a half, I know he’s been anxious to get back up there. If his shoulder is healthy, I would imagine pitching coach Rick Kranitz will watch Bergesen’s mechanics and make sure he is repeating his delivery, which is similar to what he wanted to see out of Chris Tillman’s session yesterday.

Before a line drive to the shin on July 30 ended his season, Bergesen was a pleasant surprise for the Orioles last year, going 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 19 starts. He is projected to be in a rotation that includes Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz and Tillman. 

Tillman still sidelined, Position Players Eve

Gonzalez.jpg

Orioles fans, there’s your new closer. Lefty Mike Gonzalez throws a session in the bullpen with Jim Johnson (below pic) right next to him.

Jim Johnson.jpg 

Chris Tillman did not throw his scheduled side today, and is still
dealing with the same back stiffness that sidelined him yesterday.

Although he said he probably could have gone through the whole workout, Tillman said it would have been “dumb” on his part, to push things so early in the spring.

“I’ve still got a lot of time to get in
shape and I came into camp with my arm in good shape.”

Manager
Dave Trembley also noted that Tillman threw a lot of bullpen sessions
before showing up to camp, and wasn’t worried about the right-hander
falling behind.

“I think he learned a lesson not to sleep on a
couch,” Trembley said, in reference to what Tillman believes caused his
back to act up.
 
****
With Tuesday marking the Orioles first
full squad workout, the clubhouse continued to fill up on Monday.
Joining the team in Sarasota this morning was a clean shaved Luke Scott,
who said the clippers got stuck a few times while trying to remove the
lumberjack beard he had going in the offseason.

Scott has made
it no secret that he would like to play the field this season and not be
limited to just DH duties. But the addition of Garrett Atkins at first
base, and the crowded outfield of Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Nolan
Reimold and Felix Pie will limit that.

“I mean personally,
everyone wants to have a really good idea of where they are going to fit
in; what they are going to do,” Scott said. “But sometimes things don’t
work out that way. But it’s also part of being a professional. Part of
being a professional is just doing the best with what they ask you to
do.”

*Reimold said his left Achilles tendon was sore after
testing it yesterday, but didn’t seem overly concerned. He was walking
around fine, but running on grass and testing it on the field
undoubtedly is more impact than the treadmill running he had been doing
in the offseason.

*Cesar Izturis also showed up in Sarasota and
the shortstop was confident his lockermate, the still absent Miguel
Tejada, could handle the transition to third base just fine.

“Everybody
knows he can play,” Izturis said of Tejada. “It’s a new position, but I
don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If I can help out, I will,
but he knows how to play the game.”

Izturis didn’t join the
optional position player workout because he wanted to get settled in
with his family to his temporary Spring Training living, and manager
Dave Trembley didn’t seem overly concerned that players like Izturis,
Tejada and Brian Roberts have yet to report. Roberts was also at Ed
Smith Stadium on Monday afternoon to get his physical, and hopefully the media will get an update on his health later today. He is supposed to
be shooting a commercial for MASN later in the afternoon.

****
Trembley
also made it a point to single out the bullpen session of Brandon Erbe,
and was amazed at the right-hander’s location for his 35-pitch session.

“He
didn’t throw two that were above the knees,” Trembley said. “Everything
was down. He’s
really cleaned up his delivery a lot. He had some mechanical things
with his delivery before.”

Erbe was the Orioles second-round pick
in the ’05 Draft.

“He deserves a lot of credit,”Trembley said.
“He’s worked hard. That was a solid, solid bullpen.”

****

The
Orioles manager also had high praise for Bergesen, as Trembley
continued to state his confidence that the right-hander will be up on
the mound very soon. Bergesen is schedule to throw another flat ground
session on Tuesday.

Got a Wieters feature up on the site and as always, email me with your questions and comments.

Atkins gets ready for shift

Andy and Dave.jpg

(Meeting of the minds: Andy MacPhail and Dave Trembley)

Trembley smiling.jpg

New Oriole Garrett Atkins was one of the growing number of position players out on the field for Sunday’s workout. Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott (with a lumberjack beard) were some of the other notable new attendees, which definitely put a smile on Dave Trembley’s face. The O’s manager was in a great mood today, raving about the players who had come in early and taking a few minutes to stand on a hill and watch several practices at the same time. It’s safe to say Trembley’s digging the new Spring Training digs.

I’ve got a story going up on the site later about Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen, but here’s the highlights. Tillman was having back tightness so they shut him down today, but he should be fine and ready to pitch a side on Monday. Bergesen is getting better and expects to do 2-3 flat ground sessions before getting up on the hill. By his own estimates, that should be by the end of next weekend. Trembley noted he’s “very, very close.”

In case you missed it yesterday, I caught up with Adam Jones, who is extremely excited to start the season. Jones took some swings with Nolan Reimold, who made his first appearance down in Sarasota on Sunday, looking like someone in need of sun.  He laughed when I told him Trembley asked if he could be any paler. But, he does live just north of Pittsburgh, so give the guy a break.

Reimold spent the winter testing his left Achilles tendon by running on the treadmill, and got to work it out on the field for the first time today. This is what he said prior to the practice. 

“After a lot of running, it still gets a little sore,” he said, “but it’s already better than it was last year. I’m sure I’ll be ready [for Opening Day].”

And Atkins was busy working on getting himself ready and acclimated to a full-time role at first base. The former Rockie said he will try to remember how Golden Glover Todd Helton prepared, and go from there.

“[It's] just a matter of getting out there and getting the reps in, this is my first Spring Training where I’m basically first the entire time,” Atkins said. “So I image in 40 days or whatever I’ll be able to get pretty comfortable over there.”

As for the other side of his game, Atkins said he hit more this offseason than in previous years and was looking forward to taking that into Spring Training.  Sure enough, following his media session, Atkins hooked up with hitting coach Terry Crowley for a session in the batting cage.

Brian Roberts is in Sarasota and Trembley expects the second baseman will likely report tomorrow. His agent, Mark Pieper, stopped by Sunday’s practice. 

*Trembley and his staff will hold an inter-squad game on March 1 at Ed Smith Stadium, with the Orioles coaches expected to hold a drafts of sorts sometime in the next week. Following the game, the Orioles will host a clinic for the Boys & Girls club, as part of their ongoing efforts to be active in the Sarasota community.

—–

Also, I’m hoping to get enough queries to turn out my
first Orioles inbox soon, so get those questions coming via email, with your name and
location. And as always, follow me on Twitter for quicker updates and more pictures! 

–Brittany
 

  

If you're a numbers person

Quick note on this morning’s workout, it’s cloudy and overcast, but I will do my best to get more pictures up via Twitter. But by forewarned, there’s some pretty tedious pitchers fielding practice and bunt plays on the agenda for today.

Baseball Prospectus has been putting up their predictions for each division, which mostly relies on the use of PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm). It’s basically a sabermetric system for forecasting  Major League Baseball player performance. BP combines each player’s performance with projected playing-time forecasts to project the standings.

You can find the whole story here, but here’s the bit that concerns the O’s…


Baltimore Orioles

Projected record: 79-83 (4th in the AL East)
 

Why They Might Win: In any other division, the Orioles would probably be a contender. Although this probably isn’t the year they put it all together, they are tantalizingly close to a return to respectability. They are projected to score 781 runs–fifth in the AL, but fourth in the East. The outfield of Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Nolan Reimold might be the best in the division. Starters Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman could have breakouts in their first full major-league seasons.

Why They Might Not Win: Their starting pitching is not yet where it needs to be. Kevin Millwood isn’t as good as his ERA made him seem last year, so PECOTA projects Brad Bergesen to be the Orioles’ starter with the lowest ERA at 4.40. This is not a formula for success.

Player Who Could Surprise: Jones started last year strong (.303/.357/.481 before the All-Star break), but cooled in the second half. PECOTA thinks he can do it all season this year, pegging him for .294/.350/.501. Even more noteworthy is his high “Breakout” score, which suggests a good probability that his production will improve by at least 20 percent over his established level of performance.

Player Who Could Disappoint: Millwood, despite a superficially strong ERA last season, has lost the ability to strike out batters at a high rate. PECOTA sees the writing on the wall and projects him for a pedestrian 4.71 ERA and just 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

So what do you think?

—–

Also, I’m hoping to get enough queries to turn out my first Orioles inbox soon, so get those questions coming via email, with your name and location.

–Brittany

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