Bergesen’s Return; Surprising Demotion

The Orioles have recalled RHP Brad Bergesen from AAA Norfolk to re-join the rotation and have sent RHP Jim Johnson to AAA Norfolk.

This is a surprising move, but a move that makes sense. I still would’ve preferred Cla Meredith to be the one to go, but Johnson has been struggling since the middle of last year. So far this season hes been getting hit hard to the tune of a 6.51 ERA over 9.2 innings. Hes walked 4 batters and struck out 9. The biggest difference from what I can see is that hes not getting the sink on his fastball that he did in 2008 and the beginning of 2009. When he first made the transition to reliever he was throwing 96 mph heat with boring, sinking action. I just don’t see it anymore. Hes getting hit hard and often. He can go to AAA and try to figure out how to get back to being the Jim Johnson from ’08. If he can turn things around down there I expect him to make his way back fairly quickly. Bergesen will make the start tonight against the Red Sox after being sent down through one turn of the rotation. He gave up two runs over seven innings in his lone start at Norfolk. I would’ve left him down there for another start or two to make sure hes back to form and brought RHP Jake Arrieta up until then, but I can understand that Arrieta could use a few more starts. We can gain an extra year of control of him if he stays in the minors through May. Chris Tillman is also making a case for a promotion. Hes given up 3 runs over 17 innings in his last two starts after struggling at the start of the year. He threw a no hitter in his last start.

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