One quality start does not mean you change the plan just as it is starting to shows signs of working!
Much to my chagrin the Orioles called up Brad Bergesen. And he did well. 1 earned run in 5 2/3, coming in as the team had lost 5 straight. And with Alfredo Simon on the DL for the rest of the year it looks like he will be here for a while.
What's done is done. The clock on Bergesen is started. As long as he continues to do well, keep him up here. But at the first real sign of issues get him back in the minors! And to all the people who look at this one start as the reason to bring up all the prospects who might be halfway decent and throw them to the wolves so they can “learn at the major league level” – I'm looking at you Rick Maese ( http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.maese22apr22,0,5994993.column ), take two steps back or I will push you back!
MacPhail has a plan in place. Develop the arms on the farm, find some good position players, fill out the roster with free agents, get that missing piece with a big splash on the market. The team admittied that it was straying from the plan in their pursuit of Mark Teixeira, but that was a move that, if only from a PR standpoint, they HAD to make. And they made a fair offer for him without letting themselves be used as pawns in a bidding war. But when they did not get Tex, they went right back to the plan.
Now the rotation is suffering (is anyone really surprised by this?), a kid who turned some heads in spring training comes up and makes a start, and people want Wieters, Tillman, Matusz, Arrieta and seemingly the entire Norfolk roster up here.
Just because it worked for Markakis and Roberts doesn't mean it is right for them. Yes, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken were up as teenagers. But it is a different game than it was 25-50 years ago, both in the style of play and the economic realities of calling up your top prospects. These are players you have invested millions of dollars in (in contrast, Jim signed for a $50,000 bonus, Brooks signed for $4,000). And while it is true that “when you're ready, you're ready”, and that it has little to anything to do with age, there is no way that you can argue that allowing these young'uns to taste success against ever-increasingly talented competition as they move up the ranks is going to hurt them. But coming up a little too soon and getting the pine tar knocked off of them could hurt them. So really, it is a no-brainer. Think of these young gems as some really tasty pork chops. It is better to let them cook 10 minutes too long than it is 10 minutes too little. Too long means they are a little dry. too little means a trip to the ER. And in this case, the ER is having to start ALL over again because you were too damn hungry to wait.
Grab a bag of chips and shut the hell up.
On a side note, the team won 2 out of 3 from the White Sox this week, giving them 4 series wins out of 5 total series. Last year they didn't win their 4th series until they played their 14th series of the season. The plan is WORKING. Be like Paul McCartney and Let It Be.
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!