Now Commenting On:

Berken excited about opportunity with Cubs

Berken excited about opportunity with Cubs

Berken excited about opportunity with Cubs
PITTSBURGH -- Jason Berken had gone home to Atlanta after being designated for assignment by the Orioles and wasn't sure what was next. Then he got a call from the Cubs.

The right-handed pitcher was claimed off waivers on Friday, and now finds himself in Chicago's rotation for the final weeks of the season, beginning next weekend as he fills in for Jeff Samardzija, who is being shut down because he's reached his innings limit. Berken, 28, will make his Cubs debut next Saturday at Wrigley Field when they host the Pirates.

"It's a pretty awesome opportunity," Berken said Saturday. "I'm pretty excited. I had a pretty good year in Triple-A this year, and the work paid off in the end. I'm from the Midwest and Green Bay, and I grew up watching Cubs games."

That's right, Cubs fans. He's a Packers season-ticket holder.

"I'm pretty diehard," he said.

He's focused for now on showing the Cubs what he can do. In 26 starts at Triple-A Norfolk, Berken went 5-6 with a 3.50 ERA, walking 39 and striking out 98 over 144 innings. He finished with a 3.00 ERA in six August games.

On Saturday, he was introducing himself to Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney.

"I think the change of scenery and being up here gives you a little bit extra for the last month," Berken said. "I anticipate throwing well. I'm feeling good."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español