Healthy Bergesen optimistic about 2011 season

Brad Bergesen says he's been going online for the first time this winter to check on the Orioles' offseason moves. He laughed when I asked which sites he checks.

I was serious, but anyway...

Bergesen has joined the ranks of the excited. He's expecting much better results from the Orioles in 2011.

"I've been paying attention because there's been so much activity," he said. "I'm on the computer almost every night, just doing a quick search, seeing if anything's new. Obviously, I know all the new acquisitions, I got a chance to meet the guys. I'm really excited about who we got and what we're going to put on the field this year."

Bergesen doesn't know where he'll fit in the rotation, especially with the Orioles looking to sign another veteran starter.

"I can't worry about that," he said. "I've just got to worry about getting myself prepared for this year. I'm never the guy who wants to get too comfortable and go in and act like I have a job secured. I want to go in and fight for a spot. I feel like what I did in the second half, and especially the last couple of months, can hopefully roll into next year. I think I'll be able to help this club out a lot."

Bergesen posted a 2.85 ERA in his last 12 starts. He went 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five August appearances.

As the season progressed, Bergesen said he learned how to more quickly determine what he was doing wrong and how to correct it. He also focused on keeping the proper arm angle.

More good news: He's healthy. Bergesen will report to Sarasota in excellent physical condition after dealing with a sore shoulder last winter, and the memory of that Billy Butler line drive that slammed off his shin.

"Oh, my goodness, it's been a complete turnaround," he said. "Last year, I don't think I was even throwing at this point. I hadn't even picked up a ball yet. Now, I've probably thrown about six bullpens so far, and my arm, knock on wood, has felt really healthy. Hopefully, it's one of those things I can carry into the season."

Bergesen spoke with new pitching coach Mark Connor over the winter, and sat with him for about 30 minutes last night at a team function.

"His track record speaks for itself," Bergesen said. "It seems like he's worked with so many big-time names. I asked him how many Cy Youngs he's had, and I think he said, 'Four.' That's impressive."

I suggested that Bergesen should have replied, "This year, it will be five."

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