Monday, July 13, 2009

Throwing Ice Water on the Brad Bergesen Enthusiasm

"Bergesen is God"

"...a fixture in the rotation for years to come..."

"...the ace of the staff..."

The Oriole blogosphere is getting carried away with Brad Bergesen.

And why not? What's not to like? The rookie is 6-3 with a 3.54 ERA and he's averaging 6.6 innings per start.

However...what's the real long term projection for Bergey?

The bottom line is, he can't strike people out and it's tough to succeed in baseball without that ability.

Through yesterday's game, Bergesen is striking out batters at 4.7 per 9 innings. I searched to see how many starting pitchers were successful over the past 30 years while striking out fewer than 5 batters per nine.

Here's the highlights of guys that managed to be above-average in terms in ERA while pitching 500 innings or more.

John Tudor
Chien Ming-Wang
Dave Dravecky
Rick Reuschel
Charlie Liebrandt
Zane Smith
Bob Tewksbury
Mike Flanagan

Anybody see any staff aces on that list?
Now, all those guys had some success in the league. Their best years occurred when they A) edged their strikeout rate up over 5.0 K's per 9 or B) lowered their walk rate below 2.0 per 9. (Bergesen is currently walking 2.2 per 9.)

Brad Bergesen is certainly capable of doing either of those things and sticking in the rotation but it will probably be toward the back, not as "the ace". But he needs to improve his strikeout rate or lower his good walk rate to insanely low levels to achieve even that. Otherwise he stands to be a righthanded version of Horacio Ramirez. And that's not pretty.


Bill McB said...

Great post.. I'm heading into Boston next weekend for the series against the sox. I got a discounted rate for being an Orioles fan from the Westin Copley Place downtown. Apparently, they are the proclaimed "safe haven" for Orioles fans. From what the concierge told me, the bar in the hotel is called Bar 10 and they have a pretty good drink special for Orioles fans all weekend as well, $2 Flying Dog Tiger Bite Golden Ale!! It'd be great to get a bunch of Orioles fans together for a game or two at Bar 10. Hopefully, I'll see everybody there.

jwinn006 said...

I enjoyed reading that post. Your research is outstanding. Something that gets lost in bloggers from time to time. I'm new to blogging and I actually started my own blog called Sports Plus 1. I try to focus on all aspects of sports. My question to you is how to do I use this site to my advantage by getting people to read and/or follow it. Do you have any suggestions? I'm a big O's fan so I'll be on your blog often to read what you have to say. Any feedback would be great.