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May 29, 2011

Bergesen optioned to Triple-A Norfolk; Viola expected to be recalled; Matusz starts Wednesday

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after tonight’s game that a decision on whose rotation spot Brian Matusz would take would be made “down the road.” About an hour later, the answer became pretty clear.

After tonight’s game, the Orioles optioned Brad Bergesen, who allowed three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics, to Triple-A Norfolk. Bergesen was 1-6 with a 5.36 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) for the Orioles.

Double-A Bowie reliever Pedro Viola is expected to be recalled before Sunday’s series finale, but his big league stay will likely be a short one with Matusz in line to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday and start that afternoon against the Seattle Mariners.

It was believed all along that Matusz would take the spot of either Bergesen or Chris Tillman. Neither pitched particularly well over the previous two days here as Bergesen allowed nine hits and walked two, while Tillman surrendered two runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings in the Orioles’ 6-2 loss to Oakland Friday night.

Tillman is 2-3 with a 4.69 ERA in 10 starts this season. He’s actually allowed one earned run or less in five of his past six starts, but he’s made it past the fifth inning in just one of those outings. He’s gone six innings or more in three of his 10 starts.

Bergesen pitched a complete game shutout against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 14, but the rest of his season has been a struggle. The Orioles are 1-8 in his nine starts and Bergesen has allowed 30 earned runs on 58 hits and 15 walks over 50 1/3 innings. He’s also gone six innings or more in just three of his 10 outings this season.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 4:28 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Minors


Bergy may be the odd man out of the starting rotation, bu what in the world is Gonzolas doing on the team. In any given situation, I'd say Bergy is five times more likly to get the man out. Gonzo needs to go.

Bergesen didn't pitch great last night, and only had the shutout to his credit but are you telling me that our bullpen its so good that we can't use him there? Gonzalez has got to go. Rapada shouldn't be far behind, the guy doesn't throw hard enough to break a pane of glass. Bergy has struggled yes, but he has major league stuff. Sending him down doesn't help him or the team.

Touch break for Bergesen. Guess the Os saw more upside on Tillman.

The Orioles should consider sending Andino to the minors. He can't lay down a bunt , which could be directly linked to the Os losing on Friday night and his horrible base running mistake cost the Os a chance to score in the first inning.

Send Andino to the minors also and give Adams more chances.

Both Bergeson and Tillman need a shrink. No they aren't psychos they need to get beyond a lack of confidence. Bergeson's problem relate to not trusting his stuff after nearly getting his leg broken by a line drive. Tillman just needs to trust his stuff.

I feel for Bergesen he is a real battler.. I hope he can find the sinker and consistency he had 2 years ago.. HIS velocity is good and his arm healthy.. He even had more velocity than Tillman has shown this year,, I believe Bergensen just lost a coin toss.. Tillman certainly didn't win the comparison,, I honestly believe Tillmans true value will be who he brings in a trade, so I hope he pitches well while up here,, If Viola pitches very well I could even envision Tillman joining Bergesen next wednesday at AAA until the off days are past and we need a 5th starter regularly again.. THE four guys we will be throwing in june make me believe we can win any game they start,, IT has been along time since I could honstly say that.. NOW THE DRAFT unless HULTZEN, or RENDON fall to us I now favor the orioles drafting the high school RHP DYLAN BUNDY as the best player available..

Hi Jeff,

I mentioned this on Pete's site. The York Revolution have a left handed closer by the name of Scott Rice who is pitching lights out up here in the Independent Atlantic League. I have seen him pitch three times and no one has even gotten the ball out of the infield off him. He is a former first round draft choice of the Orioles back in1999. He battled arm problems four about 5 years before having his elbow operated on in 2008. I got his autograph for my son at fan day and I told him I remember when he was drafted. He said it has taken three years to regain full arm strength. He is 6'7" and throws a nasty sinker similar to Zach Britton and he gets on top of the ball. George Sherrill was signed out of the Atlantic League so anything is possible.

He was one of the last cuts by the Cubs this spring. Andy Etchebarren said in the York paper this morning that Rice should be in the big leagues. He said there is no way that there are 20 better left handed pitchers in mlb bullpens right now than Rice.

The Atlantic League is scouted heavily by MLB. You can spot them in the stands at every game. Somebody is going to sign Rice to at least a minor league contract and soon. Could you pass this information along to someone with the Orioles?

By the way, Val Majewski is hitting .346, and the Revs first baseman, Jason Botts was signed by the Mets yesterday. He is the third Revs player to be signed by MLB this spring.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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