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Orioles demote two-fifths of rotation in Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman

May 29, 2011, 7:15 PM EDT

Chris Tillman AP

With Brian Matusz coming back Wednesday and a few off days coming up, the Orioles shipped out both Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman on Sunday and will go with a four-man rotation for now.

Bergesen, who had the highest ERA of the Orioles’ five starters this year, was the obvious choice to go to make room for Matusz.  He was 1-6 with a 5.36 ERA in nine starts and one relief appearance.  He actually pitched his first career shutout against the Rays just two weeks ago, but the Orioles had lost his eight other starts this season.

Tillman’s departure is a surprise.  He had a 1.33 ERA in his last four starts, though it’s worth noting that he pitched a total of 20 1/3 innings in those games.  For the season, he was 2-3 with a 4.69 ERA in 10 starts.

The Orioles don’t have anyone in Triple-A worthy of an opportunity — Norfolk’s only starter with a sub-5.00 ERA is veteran lefty Chris George and he’s at 4.66 — so odds are that Tillman will return as soon as the team goes back to five starters.

  1. mdak06 - May 30, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    I hope Tillman is able to lower his pitch count. He seems to be able to get out of jams pretty well. Bergesen has had a rough year, although he pitched extremely well in the one game against Tampa Bay (9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K).

    Hopefully they’ll both work out the kinks in Norfolk. I hadn’t realized that the O’s actually have five days off this month: Thu 6/2, Thu 6/9, Mon 6/13, Thu 6/23, and Mon 6/27.

    Matthew – who do you expect the O’s might use as a spot-starter if needed? Jakubauskas?

  2. boxchain - May 30, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Meanwhile, Mike Gonzalez continues to stink up the pen. I would have liked to see him get a DFA and keep Bergesen for long relief. The O’s can’t have enough long relief it seems.

    I’m not sure what the point of demoting Tillman is. He’s pitching well enough but throwing way too many pitches. I don’t think AAA has much to teach him.

    /eagerly awaiting Matusz

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