Bergmann removed from rotation

Bergmann removed from rotation

WASHINGTON -- On Saturday, one day after pitching his worst game of the season, right-hander Jason Bergmann was informed by manager Manny Acta that he was out of the rotation and will work out of the bullpen, effective immediately.

Right-hander Shairon Martis will replace Bergmann in the rotation, and he will pitch against the Marlins sometime next week.

On Friday, Bergmann went just 2 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on five hits, and saw his ERA jump, from 4.83 to 5.23. He threw 60 pitches, never had one clean inning and was pulled from the game after giving up a bases-loaded walk to Casey Kotchman. In his past seven starts, dating back to Aug. 2, he has a 7.01 ERA and 21 walks.

"The problem is when he has his lows, he has not been able to make the adjustments. He doesn't snap out of it in the middle of a game," Acta said. "When he is good, he just cruises. When he struggles, you can see it early, and he has a tough time stopping the bleeding instead of having a decent start."

According to pitching coach Randy St. Claire, Bergmann is not doing well due to mechanical issues and because he is trying too hard. From the mechanical standpoint, his front side is flying open, and his head is pulling off the ball. Opposing hitters, especially left-handed ones, are seeing Bergmann's fastball a lot earlier than expected.

Bergmann understands Acta's decision and realizes that he couldn't throw quality pitches in certain situations.

"You just move forward. It's the end of the year," Bergmann said. "I think I'm trying way too hard instead of trusting everything and trying to make things happen. ... Maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on doing better and trying too hard."

As for Martis, he is being rewarded for having a successful Major League debut on Thursday, against the Braves. He threw five innings and gave up two runs on four hits.

"This guy was pitching in Double-A when the season started, and now he will be able to audition for us," Acta said. "Going into Spring Training, we'll know if he will fit into our plans as a starter or in the bullpen."

Right-hander Garrett Mock was not considered for a spot in the rotation because the organization is happy with him as a reliever. In 12 appearances in that role, Mock has a 2.35 ERA.

The team considers Mock to be a late-inning pitcher thanks to his powerful fastball.

The Nationals have had to revamp their bullpen after losing Jon Rauch and Luis Ayala to trades and Chad Cordero to a right shoulder injury. Cordero is not expected to come back next year.

"I think Mock can have success in either role," general manager Jim Bowden said. "I've never been opposed to developing a guy in the bullpen and, late in his career, he becomes a starter.

"We are in a situation where we have to rebuild the bullpen. When you rebuild the bullpen, you like big, strong guys in the back end that can take the ball, pitch back-to-back days and have stuff. The one thing we know is that Joel Hanrahan and Mock have stuff. We've got to develop that as much as we have to develop starters."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.