Thursday, August 12, 2010

Brad Bergesen Revisited

Always one to beat a dead horse, I'm revisiting my Brad Bergesen-is-Rick Porcello meme. From last December, a quick statistical comparison of their 2009 seasons:

                 ERA    WHIP    K/9   BB/9   K/BB
Porcello '09    3.96    1.34    4.7    2.7   1.71
Bergesen '09    3.43    1.28    4.7    2.3   2.03

Now, I preface all of the following with this: Bergesen is three years older than Rick Porcello. But their stuff was not appreciably different and their results in terms of peripherals were not either.

But Porcello was lauded as a top prospect and almost universally praised. Bergesen was marginalized for his fluky performance. I figured the truth was probably somewhere in between for both of them.

Their careers remain linked (at least in my mind) in 2010.

So far in 2010:

                 ERA    WHIP    K/9   BB/9   K/BB
Porcello '10    5.74    1.56    4.6    2.6   1.73
Bergesen '10    5.84    1.53    4.0    2.7   1.48 

Both have struggled during their sophomore seasons. Both have had to return to AAA for some part of 2010. And both have come back down to Earth from 2009 results that outperformed their peripherals.

Now the good news is this; not only has Bergesen been a little unlucky up to this point, he seems to have finally gotten back in the groove after missing the last 2 months of 2009 with an injury.

Bergey's xFIP is 5.10. His BABIP is .311, a tad high. But the good thing is that he is trending the right way. For July and August, his K/BB ration is nearly 3.00, the GB% is right at 45%, a K rate north of 5 per 9 and his walks are down to 2 per 9.

I always thought that Bergesen could survive if he was getting more than 5.0 K/9 because of his very low walk rate and good ground ball rate. He's been doing that and more since the beginning of July.

Arbitrary endpoints? Perhaps. But I have always maintained that control pitchers with marginal stuff are hurt more by injuries and layoffs than most pitchers because so much of their success (and control) depends on a repeatable delivery. It looks like Bergesen may finally be getting his groove back after battling a bruised shin last season and a sore shoulder in the offseason.

And he may be part of the Orioles' plans after all.

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