I sat down with Dave Trembley for just a few minutes in his Ft. Lauderdale office and the topic I was most eager to discuss was Brad Bergesen.
From the minute I arrived at Spring Training, there had been a lot of buzz and speculation around the 23-year-old righty. I wanted to see where the skipper stood on the young prospect, so I asked him flat out, "What do you like about Brad?"
Trembley made it clear from the minute I mentioned the Orioles 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year that he liked what he saw.
"He throws strikes," Trembley said. "He puts the ball over the plate. He works fast. He keeps the ball down, a lot of sink. He shows poise."
While Trembley wouldn't tip me off as to what Bergesen's chances of making the team were, he did say out of the young pitchers in camp (most of whom have been sent to the minor facility in Sarasota since our discussion) Bergesen was the closest to being ready to help the team out.
The skipper went through a list of pitches or areas of weakness pitchers like Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta and David Hernandez needed to work on. Each specific scouting report justified the organization's decision to start the three in the minors.
Bergesen, Trembley said, did not have a glaring weakness, and showed the ability to repeat pitches and good outings. That, he said, is what he and Pitching Coach Rich Kranitz look for when determining who is ready to pitch in the Major Leagues.
Trembley cleared one rumor up. If Bergesen does make the team, it will be as a starter. He said they've groomed Bergesen as a starter and "don't have the luxury" of putting him in the bullpen.
If Bergesen is on the roster Opening Day, the kid gloves will be off. He will be given the ball every fifth day. There will be no "easing in" for the young arm.