Brad Bergesen, starting pitcher
Will he bounce back to his 2009 form?
Brad Bergesen’s had an interesting career. Promoted to AAA for the 2009 season, he was called up to Baltimore after a couple of very solid starts because one of the Orioles’ starters got hurt, and pitched surprisingly well before being shut down. In 2010, he was in the starting rotation; pitched poorly; was sent down to Norfolk for a couple of starts; and was recalled and pitched somewhat better the rest of the year.
Before I saw him pitch — I hadn’t seen him pitch in 2009 — I thought he had a good chance to be a John Burkett, Rick Helling-type starter. That is, someone who would never be a star but would be a solid innings-eater (with luck, of course, these innings-eaters have an occasional big season.) When I saw him pitch, I was not impressed. Then, I looked at his career statistics, and realized that Bergesen has no chance of being a successful starting pitcher. In the majors, he has averaged 4.1 strikeouts per 9 innings, and no right-handed starter has had a career of any length or consistency striking out so few batters. And it’s not a matter of needing to make adjustments — Bergesen didn’t strike out batters in the minors. He’ll likely improve his strikeout rate a little bit, but not enough to where he can be successful. Unless he learns a new pitch or radically changes his mechanics, he’ll never match his 2009 success.