O’s shuffle pen, may put “unsexy” rookie on the mound in Boston

April 15, 2009 |

Asking a rookie to take on the formidable Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park during his first major league call-up is like asking a pipsqueak freshman to nab a date with the prom queen.

But that’s exactly what the Orioles may be pressed into doing.  The Birds are bringing Matt Albers and Rahamas Liz back to the bigs to replace the injured Melvin Mora and the “injured” Alfredo Simon. 

I still don’t buy that Simon is really hurt, but that’s besides the point.  Liz and Albers are coming in to help the already overtaxed pen, who went 7 and 2/3 innings Tuesday night to help the O’s defeat the Rangers.

Meanwhile, the O’s will need a starting pitcher to replace Simon in the rotation.  The current speculation is that 23 year-old Brad Bergesen may get the call.  Bergesen was 16-7 last year at the A and AA levels. 

Bergesen was a candidate to earn a rotation spot this Spring, but the O’s opted to send him to AAA instead.  The front office believed some experience at AAA Norfolk would help the young righty’s development.

Let’s hope he’s developed awfully fast.  Bergesen is scheduled to make his first start for the Norfolk Tide tonight.  This is his first experience at the AAA level.  

The good news is that Bergesen played well this spring, prompting many fans to hope he would earn a spot with the club out of Spring Training.  It’s more fun to watch a kid take his best shot at K’ing major league hitters than it is to watch guys like Adam Eaton fumble around the mound.

The bad news is that Scout.com’s report on Bergesen begins with the headline, “Brad Bergesen: Not a Sexy Guy.”  Ouch, he’s going to have to outperform that report to have a chance to beat the equally unsexy likes of David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and the marginally more sexy Dustin Pedroia. 

Bergesen’s start tonight puts him on schedule to pitch the last game in Boston on Monday.  Whether or not he gets the call is speculation at this point.

Meanwhile, I’m heading to Boston for Saturday’s game, and Adam Eaton was just announced as the starter.  I’m not sure I would have signed up for a 14 hour drive had I known Eaton was going to take the mound.

I guess I’ll probably get to see Albers and Liz, too.