The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.
Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Tulsa Drillers: An outing removed from perhaps his worst start of the season, Bergman put together his best Friday. It came in the form of his third career shutout in the Colorado Rockies organization.
The St. Francis High graduate allowed just three hits, three walks and struck out six in the double-A Drillers’ 5-0 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. It’s Bergman’s first shutout since 2011 and his only complete game of 2013, as he improved to 6-7.
“I haven't felt so energized as long as I can remember, it was a great feeling,” Bergman, who threw 104 pitches, 68 strikes and struck out the side in order to end the game, told MiLB.com afterward.
Bergman has thrown a Texas League-leading 138 1/3 innings this year. His WHIP is a stellar 1.11, fourth best in the league, with a 3.32 earned-run average that’s good for seventh. He’s also struck out 96 batters and walked 21.
“My goal every time I go out there is to stay in the game as long as possible and give my team a chance to win,” Bergman told MiLB.com of his goal to progress deep into games. “If I'm throwing a lot of innings, that means the other parts of pitching are taking care of themselves — getting ground balls, throwing strikes, stuff like that. That's definitely something I take pride in.”
Despite the impressive season stats, Bergman was coming off a rough July. Through five starts, he posted a 5.52 ERA. He’d given up 11 runs, 17 hits and four homers through 11 innings in his previous two outings.
While the Drillers may have been sitting in last place in the second half of the Texas League North Division season at 19-23 coming into Saturday, they’re still headed to the postseason after winning the first half at 34-34.
Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) starting pitcher, Reno Aces: Two starts into his journey back to the Arizona Diamondbacks, McCarthy is already seeing improvement in his hopefully short rehab assignment from shoulder inflammation.
McCarthy didn’t make it through the fifth inning in his first start July 21. He was pulled with one out in the top of the fifth after giving up a one-out walk and five straight hits (two singles, two doubles and a homer). He gave up six runs on nine hits and two walks in the 15-8 loss to the Las Vegas 51s.
Five days later, McCarthy had a much better performance. He gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk through six innings. The Aces still fell short, 9-7, to the Tacoma Rainiers on July 26.
McCarthy was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 1 with right-shoulder inflammation. It was the eighth time in his career he was sent to the disabled list.
Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson said McCarthy would likely only need two starts in Reno before returning to the big club, according to an ArizonaSports.com article posted on July 19. There’s been no movement since July 26, and he didn’t get the nod for Saturday’s start, either — making it eight games since his last appearance.
“I think it just depends on what they need,” McCarthy said in the article about the length of his rehab. “Throw [July 21] and if you get your innings and you get your pitches and you're pretty close to being ready then it's just kind of up to them if they want to let me stretch out in a big league game or another one in Reno is fine, it's just kind of up to them at this point.”
The whole trip to the disabled list was complicated by a seizure he suffered at an Arizona restaurant June 3. It’s linked to a frightening injury he suffered in September when he was struck on the head by a line drive while pitching for the Oakland Athletics.
McCarthy needed emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, and while the seizure was linked to what happened in September, it did not cause additional head trauma, according to an AZCentral.com article.
“It threw it off a little bit,” McCarthy said of how the seizure impacted his rehab in the interview with ArizonaSports.com. “It just kind of slowed the process down a little bit, whether it was a few days or a week or a week and a half, it just kind of screwed with the timeline.”
In Reno, he’s posted a 6.97 ERA in two starts. Through 10 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 15 hits, struck out four, walked three and given up two homers.
In his first season with the Diamondbacks since signing a two-year free-agent contract, McCarthy was 2-4 with a 5.00 ERA in 11 starts before going on the disabled list. He hopes to be returning to Arizona shortly.
“[The rehab's] kind of been what I expect and I kind of know the timeline and where it goes so you don't get too mentally defeated,” McCarthy told ArizonaSports.com. “You see progress almost every day and that's kind of what keeps you going. The last few weeks as you get closer and you're on a mound and you start to see games begin than you really start to pick it up and turn it back into a big league routine.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun