With Arrieta's arrival, what about Bergesen?
Righty's future in O's rotation tenuous with prospect starting
BALTIMORE -- With Wednesday's news that righty prospect Jake Arrieta will be making Thursday's start, Brad Bergesen's future in the Orioles' rotation is on shaky ground. The O's -- who insist there is no exact plan -- could wait and see if another starter falters, use Bergesen in their beleaguered bullpen or simply send the right-hander back to Triple-A Norfolk to work out his issues in a less stressful setting. What they ultimately decide to do remains to be seen.
"We have a few days here to see how things are going to pan out," interim manager Juan Samuel said.
"The last three games, we've used a lot of those guys [in the bullpen]. I did not want to bring him in [Tuesday] night, when the game was like that. We're just trying to get some more options with him, trying to wait until his mechanics get right."
Bergesen said he hasn't been told anything regarding the team's future plans for him, and he has been learning on veteran relievers Will Ohman and Mark Hendrickson for advice in making the transition to the 'pen.
"I'm staying positive about it," Bergesen said. "Obviously I'm still here in the big leagues -- this is what they need me to do right now."
The 24-year-old Bergesen, who is 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 starts, said he doesn't consider the move a demotion. He has allowed 41 baserunners in his past 21 innings -- giving up 19 earned runs over that stretch -- and hasn't been able to find the consistency that helped him go 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA as a rookie.
Bergesen hasn't pitched since June 2 in New York, a game he started but lasted just 2 1/3 innings before former manager Dave Trembley went to the bullpen.
"I don't know what's going to come tomorrow -- I know that I'm in the bullpen today," Bergesen said Wednesday afternoon. "I'm not really worried about [what's coming]. It's my first time being in the bullpen, I'm going to go out there and try to do my thing and hope for the best right now."
O's project Simon to return next week
BALTIMORE -- Alfredo Simon could rejoin the Orioles early next week, with interim manager Juan Samuel saying it's on his wish list to have Simon available for Monday's series in San Francisco.
Simon (left hamstring strain) threw 25 pitches Wednesday at the team's Minor League complex in Sarasota, Fla., and did some light agility work. The plan is for him to throw 30 pitches on Thursday and take it from there. Samuel was not sure whether Simon would need to go on a rehab assignment before being activated, but acknowledged that if Simon faced hitters in Sarasota, that would probably be good enough.
"We need to stabilize that bullpen, that back end," Samuel said. "[Activating Simon] obviously would do that for us."
Simon was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 24 for an injury suffered in the previous afternoon's game. The powerful right-hander had been a key part of the O's bullpen and did an admirable job in the closer role vacated by Michael Gonzalez (left shoulder strain). Simon (1-1) pitched to a 2.92 ERA in 12 games and went 6-for-7 in save opportunities.
Outfielder Felix Pie (upper back strain) is throwing long toss and taking swings off the batting tee in Sarasota with no reported pain. Pie was placed on the 60-day DL on April 16 and is considered to still be a way's away.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.