Orioles move Bergesen to bullpen
Righty will be skipped at least one time through rotation
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles moved Brad Bergesen from the rotation to the bullpen Saturday in an effort to help the right-hander find his way and give a beleaguered group of relief pitchers some help.
Bergesen confirmed before Saturday's game vs. the Red Sox that he'll skip at least one start. Kevin Millwood will make his next start on regular rest, and the O's will keep everything the same at least one time through the rotation before deciding what to do from there.
"After that, they don't know and I don't know what the outcome will be, whether I stay in the 'pen, whether I go back to starting," Bergesen said. "It's the unknown right now."
Interim manager Juan Samuel said Saturday that Bergesen's situation is up in the air, but for right now, he's in the bullpen, an area where the team needs some help.
"We don't know how long he is going to be down there with our pitching situation -- and going through so many pitchers last night, and having the off-day coming up [Monday]," Samuel said. "We don't need a starter right now, and I think he could help us more in the bullpen at this point."
Bergesen has a 3-4 record with a 6.75 ERA and has struggled throughout 2010. After three poor starts to begin the year, he was sent briefly to Triple-A Norfolk, where the right-hander appeared to have righted some things before returning to Baltimore.
But Bergesen didn't make it out of the third inning against the Yankees in his most recent start on June 2, giving up six runs on seven hits. The 2 1/3 innings he lasted was a career low, and he's given up four earned runs or more in three of his past four starts. Plus, he's allowed 41 base-runners in his past 21 innings, along with 19 earned runs during that time.
The team wants Bergesen to fix a mechanical problem with his arm slot that's been giving him trouble recently.
"I think it is something that can be easily fixed," Samuel said. "He recognizes it. We asked him what he thinks happened last time, and he feels that he wasn't really on top of the ball like he needed to be. The No. 1 thing is he recognized it, and it is easy to fix when those guys know that."
Right now, the Orioles need Bergesen's help in the bullpen, and they need him to fix his problems. So he'll become a relief pitcher for a while, trying to right the ship in a difficult season.
"It's been very frustrating at times," Bergesen said. "Right now, [the bullpen] is where I'm needed, and so hopefully I'll be able to do the job out there and give some relief to those guys."
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.