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Samuel wants direction with Bergesen

Samuel wants direction with Bergesen

TORONTO -- Following Monday night's 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel dealt with a barrage of questions pertaining to starting pitcher Brad Bergesen's future.

The sophomore right-hander lasted only five-plus innings in the series opener, while being tagged for a career-high eight runs. It was just one of many poor starts this season. Bergesen currently sports an ERA of 6.95, and although he is scheduled to start on Saturday, it remains all but certain that he will not.

"We need to discuss what we are going to do," Samuel said. "Right now he is [scheduled to start Saturday], but it's something that we really need to discuss and figure out. Is it the best thing for him and our ballclub? Is he going to be the guy we're counting on? It's something that we really need to look into."

One thing for Samuel remains certain he does not want to option Bergesen to Triple-A Norfolk for the third time this season only to bring him back up in the foreseeable future. Samuel wants direction.

"That's something we need to sit down and discuss with our [front-office personnel], what our decision is going to be. Is it going to be, 'OK, we need to leave these guys here and they need to work through their struggles?' Or do we need to probably keep those guys down there a little bit longer? Because it seems that we can't just keep going back and forth with the same guys.

"And yes, they are pitching well sometimes [when sent down], but then those guys come up here and we know the competition is not the same."

With a rotation that boasts three starters below the age of 25 -- Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta -- Samuel stressed how important it is for younger pitchers to learn how to alter their approach with each hitter -- a tactic that is undoubtedly amplified at the big league level.

"They just need to make adjustments -- pitch [differently] hitter to hitter." Samuel said. "It seems like the first time around, some of them are doing OK. The second time around or third time through the lineup, the hitters have made their adjustments and [the pitchers] have not been able to. They have not been able to make [adjustments], and [have not] made good pitches when they needed to."

Although there is much speculation at this point, Triple-A starter Zach Britton's name has arisen in several conversations surrounding Saturday's start. He has a 1-1 record with a 2.05 ERA for the Tides this season, and is scheduled to pitch Tuesday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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