Continuing the trend of bringing depth into the bullpen, the Chicago Cubs added another veteran option, signing journeyman pitcher Christian Bergman.
In the midst of a busy bullpen signing season, the Chicago Cubs have a new face on the squad in Bergman. Pitching in Seattle last season, Christian Bergman spent most of the season at Triple-A Tacoma, however, did see time at the major league level. Unfortunately, it did not go over well as Bergman posted a 5.79 ERA across two starts.
For Bergman, the deal gives him a fresh start after spending the past two seasons in Seattle. While it remains to be seen whether Bergman will have a shot at any bullpen role, the move will provide that extended depth for the club.
Looking for balance
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Bergman was a 24th-round selection in the 2010 MLB Amateur player draft, by the Colorado Rockies. His career did not get off to the best start, as he posted a 5.96 ERA across 48.1 innings in rookie ball.
The following season, after earning a promotion to Low A, Bergman rebounded nicely posting a much improved 2.59 ERA over 15 starts. By 2013, Bergman had earned a spot in Double-A, making 27 starts with a respectable 3.37 ERA.
In 2014, Bergman appeared in the show. It did not go well as he took a step back, posting a 5.93 ERA over ten starts. His career in Colorado would last only two more seasons, and when it was all said and done, Bergman finished with a 5.79 ERA.
Landing in Seattle at the start of the 2017 season, Bergman made eight starts for the Mariners injury-ridden rotation. He posted an even 5.00 ERA over those starts, giving up 12 home runs in just 54.0 innings. The 2018 season would only go more downhill, and the Mariners ultimately released him.
His major league career has not gone in his favor overall. In 215 2/3 career innings, Bergman has a 5.59 ERA, with a 5.09 FIP, and just a 13.8 percent strikeout rate.
Factoring into the bullpen
The Cubs have added a plethora of inexpensive relief options this offseason, and continue with the signing of Bergman. In recent months, the team has brought in Tony Barnette, Kendall Graveman, Kyle Ryan, Brad Brach, and Allen Webster.
It will be difficult with all the additions for Bergman to earn any time with the major league club. Realistically, the chances of Bergman seeing any significant time this season are small. That being said, with Bergman’s track record at the minor league level, he should still provide an option throughout the season if and when injuries begin to pile up.