Time for the Orioles to Scrap 'The Plan'?
Brad Bergesen made quite the impression in his major league debut last night.
The 23-year-old righty carried a no-hitter into the fourth, worked quickly (gaining a fan in Nick Markakis), left to a standing ovation and, more importantly, gave the Orioles a solid start and a chance to win.
Bergesen, who earned his first major league victory Tuesday, very easily could've been a part of the team's Opening Day rotation. However, Manager Dave Trembley felt he'd have better served the team by pitching a couple weeks in the minors and being the first guy called up
if when a starting pitcher went down.
Clearly the fans are ready to see the talented crop of young kids matriculate their way into the majors but the Orioles have a plan and that plan is to take their lumps now and let The Cavalry come into its own in Norfolk and Bowie.
But is that the right tactic?
The Orioles' offense is easily its best feature with its defense coming in second and the pitching coming way, way down the list -- somewhere behind the grounds crew and training staff. Given that several of the pitchers in the minors are already probably better than a couple of guys currently in the team's rotation, why not bring them up now?
The reason is that you don't want to sabotage the development of these guys. Just because they've got plus-stuff doesn't mean they're ready to see the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays nearly 60 times in a season. A strikeout in Bowie against the Trenton Thunder on a Tuesday night is not the same as Bergesen striking out the league leader in home runs (Carlos Quentin) in a 12-pitch at-bat.
Bergesen is up for a reason: He's ready. Sometime this summer some of the other guys will be ready too. And yes, you can point to some of the past Orioles' success stories from past years as Sun columnist Rick Maese has, but for every Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis there's a Hayden Penn and an Adam Loewen -- guys that were brought up too soon to play for a moribund club.
While some might say it's time to scrap Andy MacPhail's grand plan, couldn't the very early success of Bergesen and the clamoring for The Cavalry be used to show that The Plan is in fact working as intended?
As Trembley put it following Tuesday's win:
"This was a big day for everybody who's followed the Orioles. This is the first step in that youth movement of guys coming up through the system and guys developing, us showing patience with them, making sure they're ready when they get here. ... There's more coming. They're not here yet. They won't get here for a while. Bergesen's the first guy. Let's enjoy him."
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