Bergman signed by Newark |

Bergman signed by Newark

Appeal Sports Editor

Dusty Bergman appeared to have walked off the mound for the last time in 2007 a week ago Friday for the Reno Silver Sox. But Bergman’s season isn’t done just, yet.

The 1996 Carson High graduate has been signed by the independend Atlantic League’s Newark Bears to provide depth in their pitching staff for their playoff run.

“They just put out a wire looking for starting pitching for the playoff run,” Bergman said.

Silver Sox manager Les Lancaster told Bergman about the wire. “We worked out a deal and there you go,” Bergman said.

Bergman will throw a bullpen session for Newark on Monday and it will be decided then when his first appearance for the Bears will be. It’s expected that Bergman will be in Newark’s starting rotation through the rest of the regular season, which ends on September 16.

“That’s what I understand,” said Bergman about being a starter for the rest of the regular season. “That’s what I was told.”

Newark has advanced to the Atlantic League playoffs as the first half North Division champion. The playoffs will begin with the best-of-three division series and then conclude with the best-of-five championship series.

The Bears will only need three starting pitchers for the best-of-three series. If Newark will need more than three starters for a possible championship series will just depend on how the playoffs go.

Bergman said Newark already has two starters who will be in the rotation for the playoffs. Newark also signed another pitcher, Mark Woodyard, and Bergman said he’ll be competing with Woodyard for the third starting spot in the rotation in the playoffs. If Bergman isn’t in the starting rotation for the playoffs, he’ll be available to come out of the bullpen.

Throughout his professional career, Bergman has had experience as a starter and reliever. Bergman spent virtually all of 2002-2006 at the Triple A level, receiving a cup of coffee in the major leagues with the Anaheim Angels in 2004. He also made the Triple A all-star game in 2005.

He joined the Silver Sox this past season as a player-coach as he also served as the team’s pitching coach. Bergman won his final start with Reno a week ago Friday, finishing 6-4 in 15 starts with a 3.13 earned run average in 100.2 innings. The E.R.A. and innings pitched were both third in the Golden Baseball League.

“I was a little disappointed,” said Bergman about the fact Reno couldn’t make a playoff run. “Personally I thought I threw the ball well toward the end of the season.”

Bergman was thrown into the fire right away as a pitching coach having to deal with injuries at the beginning of the season.

“It was definitely very distracting,” he said. “I was pretty overwhelmed at the start. That was very distracting to me as a player.”

About coaching and pitching, Bergman said, “As a whole it was very difficult to do both. It was just challenging.”

Bergman said Reno was hurt when injuries for Matt Parris into the starting rotation. The Silver Sox had planned to use Parris out of the bullpen.

Despite all the injuries, Bergman said he still would have liked the staff to be more consistent.

“That’s my job to get the consistency out of the players,” he said. “It just didn’t happen.”

But Bergman said many times being a pitching coach was worth it when he would show one of the pitchers something and then they would go out and execute it on the mound.

“It’s just rewarding for me to help these guys out,” he said. “I enjoyed the coaching part.”

The obvious goal for the left-handed Bergman is to be picked up by a major league team next season. If the Reno Silver Sox are still in the Golden Baseball League in 2008, Bergman said returning to the club as a player and pitching coach is an option.

“We’ll see what happens next year,” Bergman said. “I’m just keeping my book open and see what happens. That’s pretty much all I can do now.”