Saturday Orioles Notes: Bergesen to bullpen (at least temporarily)

June 05, 2010 | Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — It’s another hot day at Camden Yards accompanied by little good news as the Orioles (15-40) prepare to face the Red Sox (32-24) in the second of a three-game set after Boston battered the Baltimore pitching staff in an 11-0 rout on Friday night.

Brad Bergesen has been moved to the bullpen—at least temporarily—to add another arm with the luxury of an off day on Monday. The rest of the staff will work on regular rest with the 24-year-old working in a relief role. Interim manager Juan Samuel said there are no defined plans to keep Bergesen in the bullpen long-term, but that could change as Jake Arrieta continues to dominate Triple-A batters.

“We don’t know how long he’s going to be down there,” the manager said.

Bergesen gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 9-1 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. His earned run average now stands at 6.75 after pitching to a 3.43 clip in his rookie season a year ago.

The club continues to point to an inconsistent arm slot as the main reason for Bergesen’s struggles in his sophomore campaign. The pitcher’s sinker continues to miss up in the strike zone, a dangerous place to be for a guy with underwhelming stuff.

Mike Gonzalez completed another bullpen session today, and the results were not good. The left-handed closer was “not hitting his spots” and displayed inconsistent velocity, according to Samuel.

The Orioles were targeting Gonzalez to return at some point during the West Coast trip to San Francisco and San Diego in a couple weeks, but that goal looks to be in serious doubt. Gonzalez will now take the next two days off and complete another session on Tuesday.

Staying on the topic of closers, Samuel was asked who he would go to in a save situation should the Orioles find themselves with a rare ninth-inning lead.

“Right now, if we need to, [Will] Ohman is going to be our guy.”

Samuel also said he envisions David Hernandez as a late-inning guy in the bullpen.

Brian Roberts failed again to play in an extended spring training game on Saturday, as he continues to experience lower back pain. While the soreness was labeled a “minor setback” by Samuel on Friday, he took a more cautious tone when asked about Roberts’ status.

“It’s obviously a concern.”

The possibility of surgery has been shot down repeatedly, but at some point, you have to question the merit of trying to rehabilitate a serious injury without at least considering surgery as a realistic option. After all, we’re talking about a team that’s already 16 1/2 games behind fourth place.

Is it worth it?

Here is tonight’s lineup:

Baltimore
LF Corey Patterson
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
C Matt Wieters
CF Adam Jones
DH Garrett Atkins
2B Julio Lugo
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Jeremy Guthrie (3-5, 3.84 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat tonight at 7:00 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss tonight’s action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about tonight’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 7:05 p.m

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4:55 p.m. — With Matt Wieters continuing to struggle with a .236 average, Samuel professed the need to give the catcher a few more days off than he’s had through the first third of the season. The catcher is hitting just .198 (19-for-96) since May 1 and has struck out 26 times in that span.

Coupled with the responsibility of handling a young starting rotation, Samuel thinks “a break here and there” will help the young catcher to maintain a higher energy level at the plate.

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