The Nationals called up Scott Olsen this morning, as expected. And the corresponding move was almost as predictable: reliever Jason Bergmann was designated for assignment and will head to Triple-A Syracuse if he clears waivers.
Bergmann gave up a key homer to Shane Victorino in Wednesday's loss to the Phillies. He made the team out of spring training after pitching well last September, and manager Jim Riggleman said he had "some loyalty" to Bergmann because of it. But the Nationals needed to make a move, and the way Jesse English pitched last night made Bergmann expendable.
"I think the biggest reason is not being succesful out there," Bergmann said. "Despite the fact it was only two innings in four games, the results haven't been there just yet. Everyone's struggling right now. They needed a spot, and they took mine."
The right-hander, one of the few remaining links to the Expos, was the longest-tenured player in the Nationals' organization and a player representative in the union. He was a starter all the way through the 2007 season, was converted to a reliever in 2008, and was optioned to the minors eight times between 2006 and 2008. He is the Nationals' career strikeout later, but if he's picked up off waivers, he could be gone,
"I got fired from my job today," Bergmann said, his voice breaking at times. "It's the hardest thing to deal with. It's probably the worst day of my life right now. I've got to move on, and see what the next couple days are going to bring."
General manager Mike Rizzo said the Nationals would not release Bergmann. They could try to work out a trade if another team makes a claim, or send him to the minors if he clears waivers.
In other news, the team called up Justin Maxwell, who will start in right field today. And Ryan Zimmerman, out of the lineup again today, is hoping to return this weekend.