Shortly after the Orioles picked up their 12th loss in 14 games against the Mariners early this morning, the team announced that Brad Bergesen, who got rocked in his three starts this season, was being sent to Triple-A Norfolk. Chalk Bergesen's failures up as yet another thing that's gone wrong for the Orioles in the first two weeks of the season.
Bergesen, an American League Rookie of the Year candidate a year ago until his season was ended prematurely by a nasty line drive off his shin, is 0-2 with a 12.19 ERA in 2010 after last night's 8-2 loss. Opponents have hit .420 against him.
Last week, after he allowed eight runs (five earned) in a 9-1 loss to the Rays, Bergesen said he thought he was close to working the kinks out. He thought he just needed to tinker with his arm angle a little bit. I guess he didn't tinker enough. Now he'll get a chance to regain his form from a year ago — before the shin injury and before he injured his shoulder in that ill-fated Orioles commercial shoot – away from the bright lights and bitter fans at Camden Yards.
The demotion is a good move for both Bergesen and the Orioles. Bergesen gets an opportunity to overhaul his delivery down in Norfolk, where expectations will be lower. He'll get a chance to get his confidence back, too. And if all goes as planned, he'll be back in the big leagues later in the season.
The Orioles, who don't need to spot their opponents another handicap, can plug a more reliable starter – someone who can make it out of the fifth inning – into the rotation. We'll find out who will get the call in a couple of days here. Jason Berken, perhaps? He's been great in a long relief role.
Bergesen's breakdown is the latest unfortunate turn in the Orioles' disastrous start. It makes me wonder what's next, but at this point, thinking of how things can possibly get any worse makes me shudder.