After one strong outing at Triple-A Norfolk, Brad Bergesen will be back in the majors, reclaiming his spot in the rotation with a start today against the Boston Red Sox.
"We feel like he went down there and did the things we asked him to do," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "He's right on schedule to come and he'll pitch [Saturday]."
Bergesen was demoted to Norfolk on April 20 after going 0-2 with a 12.19 ERA in three starts. Because the club did not need a fifth starter until today, Bergesen was sent down — but there were no guarantees he'd be brought back up for the open start.
In his lone appearance for the Tides on Sunday, the 24-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits without walking a batter in seven innings to pick up the win against Charlotte.
"He seems a lot more relaxed, a lot more sure of himself," said Trembley, who spoke to Bergesen on Friday. "He pitched very well down there; he got some good work in. I would expect you will see Brad Bergesen return to the form we're all accustomed to seeing."
Bergesen was the club's most consistent pitcher in 2009, when he went 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 19 starts. His season ended in July when he was struck on the shin by a line drive. His troubles multiplied in the offseason when he injured his shoulder shooting a promotional commercial for the Orioles, forcing him to be about 10 days behind at the start of spring.
"I think what he tried to do was catch up from an unfortunate incident that occurred in the offseason. He rushed himself," Trembley said. "He was overthrowing, relying on his breaking pitch too much. He got out of being Brad Bergesen. He's a strike thrower, a sinkerball pitcher. He's not a breaking ball pitcher. He was overthrowing, spinning off the ball, delivery wasn't good. He was a nervous wreck."
A corresponding move
When Bergesen is officially recalled, the Orioles will have to take someone off their 25-man roster. That somebody has not been announced yet, but the most likely candidates are right-handed relievers Matt Albers (0-3, 7.36 ERA) or Cla Meredith (0-0, 3.86 ERA).
Albers is without options, meaning he will have to pass through waivers before he could be sent down to Norfolk. Meredith has an option remaining.
"Every decision that you make in this game is difficult. None of them are easy," Trembley said. "From putting a sign on to taking the pitcher out to leaving a guy in to sending a guy down, none of them are easy. You wrestle with them all the time, but you do what you feel is right."
McDonald makes return
Boston Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald was back in a starting lineup Friday at Camden Yards — more than five years after it last occurred.
McDonald, the Orioles' top draft pick in 1997, played 17 games for the Orioles in 2004 before being released at the end of that season. He bounced around with five different organizations, signing with the Boston Red Sox this offseason.
Although McDonald was considered minor league outfield depth, the Red Sox were forced to call him to the big leagues on April 20 because of injuries.
And he has excelled, batting .333 (eight hits, including two homers, in 24 at-bats) in his first nine games, a period in which Boston has gone 7-2 and McDonald has been a key contributor.
"It's a dream come true," said McDonald, who has played in more than 1,300 minor league games. "To do something like this with a franchise like the Boston Red Sox and see the appreciation from the fans is an unbelievable feeling I will always remember. It's something that gives you chills when you walk to the plate."
McDonald, 31, spent seven seasons in the Orioles organization, and was its Player of the Year in 2002, but never had an extended chance in the majors.
He batted .156 in 32 at-bats with the Orioles in 2004.
"This is the team that drafted me and invested a lot of money in me, which I definitely appreciate," McDonald said. "Things didn't work out the way I would have liked or they would have liked. I wish I had better memories of being here. But I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And I'm just trying to go out now and enjoy every day, no matter where it is."
O's donate to Haitian relief
As part of their effort to aid earthquake victims in Haiti, before Friday's game the Orioles presented a $25,000 check to Project Medishare, a team of doctors who are operating the only trauma and critical care hospital in Haiti.
Orioles third baseman Miguel Tejada, who personally delivered food and water to the Haitian victims after the earthquake, made the presentation. The Orioles have raised $65,000 for Haitian relief efforts.
Around the horn
Minor league lefty Wilfrido Perez, who was taken off the 40-man roster April 27, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Double-A Bowie, where he had been 0-1 with three saves and a 10.80 ERA.