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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."

By CJ Holley  |  April 22, 2009; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  Orioles  
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You need to call it something besides "The Plan." That is trademarked and copyrighted by the Nationals and Stan Kasten, all rights reserved, 2007.

Granted, the Orioles actually seem to be able to execute "The Plan" better than the Natinals.

Maybe the Oriole Way instead? Oriole reWay?

Posted by: ilikeike | April 22, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

why scrap the plan when it's proving it is working? I'm excited to see Rich Hill come off the DL before I am to see the young pups come up. A rotation of Guthrie, Koji, Hendrickson, Bergie, ____ works for me.

ilikeike - dont ever compare the O's to the Nats. The O's are far, far, far ahead of the Nats in creating a plan, sticking to it, and watching its fruition. Kasten, thankfully now that bowden is gone, just started a plan this winter.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | April 22, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping my comment was over the top enough to show it was a joke. Guess I failed.

Who would read a baseball blog on the Washington Post and not know about Stan Kasten's love for the plan?

Posted by: ilikeike | April 22, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

We plan on following the plan (except for the other guys on the team, they're currently devising another plan)

Posted by: adampschroeder | April 22, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Also, is The Plan in action to fight all the way up to 4th place in the division?

Posted by: adampschroeder | April 22, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Bergeson is a different pitcher than Matusz, Tillman, or Arrieta in that he gets by less on "stuff" than on his command. Bergeson I think is also a bit older. Holding the others back a bit, managing their innings load, and having them work on command and secondary pitches is prudent.

The O's year is not this one. They are a middle of the pack in MLB team stuck in a division with arguably 4 of the top 10 teams in baseball. They are taking the right approach to get long usefulness out of their pitching. Very interesting to compare their approach to the Nats deployment of Zimmermann and Martis.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | April 23, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

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