Sunday, April 5, 2009

Free Bergy!!

Yesterday the Nationals announced their final 25-man, and there's plenty here to debate. But I'll start with Jason Bergmann getting screwed (again). What does this guy have to do to prove that he's a major-league pitcher?

I can understand the decision to move him to the bullpen, though there's no evidence that Scott Olsen or Daniel Cabrera are one iota better than Bergmann. Here's Bergmann's tRA* (subtract 0.40 and think of this as his "deserved" ERA, discounting luck, fielding, park effects, etc.) for the last two years:
2007: 4.85
2008: 5.28
Now here's Olsen:
2007: 5.83
2008: 5.29
And D-Cab:
2007: 5.06
2008: 5.78
Then, this spring, all Bergmann does is throw 11.1 innings with a 0.00 ERA 6Ks, 2 BBs, 7 hits, and 1 HBP. Olsen's line is 4.55 ERA / 11 Ks / 8 BBs / 40 hits / 3 HBP in 29.2 innings. And Cabrera throws 12.2 innings at 6.39 / 5 Ks / 7 BBs / 16 hits / 1 HBP.

In any fair competition, Bergy would be in the rotation, not in AAA.

Now, I understand that he has options left and other guys don't. But it's not like we're holding roster spots for the Phillies' shutdown bullpen of 2008. After Beimel, Hanrahan, and Rivera, you're bringing a group of completely fungible non-descript arms up north who are as easily replaceable as anyone in the league. Wil Ledezma has gotten a chance with half a dozen teams and will probably bounce through a dozen more before he's done. Tavarez is the epitome of a fungible journeyman. Hinckley's just a guy. Shell's another cast-off retread.

This isn't a situation where options should be dictating the move. Bergmann is better than at least 6 of the 12 pitchers on the Opening Day 25-man. He should be there.


Nate said...

FWIW, I agree with your conclusion. If ST stats were the metric, Jason "Harvey" Bergmann would be the first guy in our bullpen. That said, ask Matt Weiters WTF fair has to do with anything.

Dave Nichols said...

i knew this was coming :-) your rant, not Bergy getting demoted. i didn't see that one coming.

Mock was pissed.

dcbatgirl said...

Yea, I have to agree on this one. It does seem like Bergy gets picked on. Hopefully he'll be back soon.

I also heard Josh Willingham loud and clear yesterday and hope that all of the noise we're hearing about a healthy competition means that we'll be seeing a lot of Josh,

John said...

I'm not sure which decision is more upsetting: Bergy to Syracuse, or Dukes to the bench.

Thomas said...

I'm betting the Cabrera experiment is over by May. (I'll be pleasantly surprised if the Saint can redeem him and ticked if they keep sending him out to get pounded). So there will room for another pitcher. I'm rooting for Stammen, but Bergmann works for me too.

I've given up hope for a trade of Milledge or Willingham or someone else for an innings eater.


Sean Hogan said...

Should have been Bergmann and Mock staying, not Ledezma and Hinckley (and Shell).

Sean Hogan said...

And that's not even to mention Tavarez, who needed to be added to the 40-man.

Steven said...

I can kinda understand Mock, since the plan seems to be to give him a chance to "learn" to close.

Will said...

I hope "Free Dukes!!" is next. The sheer stupidity of all of this is infuriating.

Also, the Cubs just release Chad Gaudin. He just turned 26, has a career 4.63 FIP and can function both as a starter and a long-inning reliever. Do the Nats snap him up? (I doubt it, but he's be an interesting addition)

Hal said...

The only problem I can see here is that when Bergman gets out of the pitching headspace (which he sometimes inexplicably does), he's a disaster area. He blows up REAL good. That's enough for me to keep him out of the starting rotation, but he should be in the bullpen, not AAA. Period.