Brad Bergesen Breaks Baysox Wins Record

With improved pitches and plus control, Brad Bergesen (14-3) has stifled Eastern Leaguers since being called up early this season. While breaking the Baysox single-season record, he has also amassed an unusually high amount of decisions. Inside get a detailed analysis of his record breaking season and see why he is being considered to fill a rotation spot in the majors.

Brad Bergesen, thanks to another win, strong outing and plenty of run-support now holds the Baysox single-season record for wins. He is now 14-3 in 19 games. While we generally should not look at decisions as an important stat, when you get 17 in 19 games (18 as the actual starter) it shows something extremely important.

Pitchers will earn a decision, generally, by pitching awfully or really well. The further into the games one goes, the more likely the decision will be positive. Now, with a stricter pitch count and guys not being stretched out too often, he is showing incredibly pitch efficiency, which is exactly what you want out of a pitch-to-contact pitcher. And what we want out of these pitchers are grounders, which is exactly what Bergy gives us (1.5 per air ball out)

In the minors, as mentioned above, pitchers are on much more strict pitch counts than in the majors. Pitchers are less likely to be left in a game or put out for another inning to get the "W" or complete game than in the majors (much like Olson was pulled when he probably could have gotten two more outs Friday, and why Jeremy Guthrie has been sent out for an extra inning in games tied at the time he goes back out).

So, heading back towards the original statement that the 17 decisions in 19 games is so important (I'll get to it, trust me). So, when a pitcher gives a team a quality start, it is reasonable to say that the pitcher "deserves" a win, or pitched well enough for one. On the flip side, if you pitch poorly enough and do not go deep, you will get just as many decisions, but in the right-hand column. (Now the importance) Bergy has shown that he's a quality pitcher. In 19 games with Bowie, at the double-A level, he has pitched 123.1 innings, that's good enough for just under 6.5 innings per game, or well into the seventh on average.

In addition to averaging a very healthy 6.5 innings per appearance, if one takes his total runs given up (includes unearned), 43, and averages it out over 6.5 innings (instead of just earned runs and 9 innings), he is averaging an impressive 2.27 runs per appearance. In other words, you can expect a quality start from Bergy (at least six innings and three or fewer runs).

But pitching into the seventh consistently is something one would expect from a starter who aspires to be a quality big league pitcher, right? Well, even among the highly touted Orioles starting pitching prospects, this is a rarity. Only Sean Gleason of the single-A Shorebirds has averaged completing 6 innings in the Orioles minor league system as a starter (he has made 17 starts since converting from a reliever to a starter).

Every pitching coach and starting pitcher will tell you one has to gain consistency with each pitch, improve control, and go deeper into games. While there is no secret about what a starting pitcher needs to do to get to the big leagues, contrast what the farmhands are doing with what the Orioles regular starters have done. Only two Baltimore starters at the big league level have not missed starts this season: Daniel Cabrera and Jeremy Guthrie. Now, both have several more no decisions than Bergy (this is indicative of an overtaxed and inconsistent bullpen), but one thing they do have in common with Bergesen and Gleason is that they, on average, pitch into the seventh inning.

Bergesen has clearly pitched well, and all of these factors are going to factor into Manager Dave Trembley's decision on whom to call up to hold a spot in the rotation, if anyone is called up.

Bergy is as close to the majors as he has ever been in his career, and going back to the theme, and title of last week's article, Bergesen gets the job done. Do not forget what one of his biggest fans (the Orioles' Director of Scouting Joe Jordan) said:

"He's not a sexy guy because he doesn't throw really really hard, but he knows what the hell he's doing."

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