Brad Bergesen was officially added to the Orioles' active roster today, replacing J.J. Hardy, who moved to the disabled list with a strained left oblique.
But the question remains whether Bergesen, who is scheduled to start Sunday's series finale in Cleveland, can show enough consistency to remain in the rotation. When he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday to make room for Chris Jakubauskas, it marked Bergesen's third demotion in about a year.
"It's a huge challenge," Bergesen said. "It's something that I was faced with last year and learned the tough way. I'm really just hoping to get back on track and hopefully prove that I am able to be part of the rotation and just contribute to this team."
What may help Bergesen most is just getting a steady workload and an opportunity to log some innings. The 25-year-old right-hander had his preparation for the season cut short when he was drilled in the right forearm by a liner off the bat of the Minnesota Twins' Denard Span on March 25, his outing lasting just four pitches.
He threw two innings against Orioles minor leaguers March 30, the final day before the team broke camp and headed to St. Petersburg, Fla., to start the season. But that wasn't exactly ideal preparation for his first big league start against the Detroit Tigers on April 6. Bergesen lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks. He started that game only after Jeremy Guthrie was hospitalized with pneumonia.
Asked about not being able to get in a routine, Bergesen said: "It's been tough, but it's the hand that I was dealt, and I'm just trying to make the most of it. Whatever they need me or whenever they need me, I'm just trying to prepare as much as possible."
Bergesen is available tonight to pitch in relief if Chris Tillman has an abbreviated outing. However, if he doesn't, he'll likely be held back until Sunday, where he'll be pitching for just the second time in an 18-day span.
"Let's let that play out," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "With the injuries and all the things that we've had creep up, it's not an ideal world. But there's an excuse around every corner if you want to take it."
As for the game, there is no tarp on the field and it appears that it will start on time.