[UPDATED AT 2:23 P.M.]
PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Jason Bergmann has been designated for assignment, clearing space on the Nationals' roster for lefty Scott Olsen.
Bergmann, who was out of options, has 10 days to either be traded, claimed by another club or pass through waivers and be outrighted to Class AAA Syracuse. General manager Mike Rizzo said the organization won't release the 28-year-old if he clears waivers.
Bergmann sensed the move was coming since struggling during last night's 14-7 loss to the Phillies, in which he served up a two-run homer to Shane Victorino. He appeared in only four games, totaling 2 1/3 innings, since the season began but was scored upon three times.
The right-hander had been optioned eight different times over the last four years, but that didn't make today's news any easier to swallow. Originally an 11th round draft pick of the Expos in 2002, he is one of the longest-tenured players in the organization.
"I'm not going to make any excuses; I didn't pitch real well," he said. "But I got fired from my job today. That's the hardest thing to deal with. It's probably the worst day of my life right now. I've got to find a way to move on and see what the next few days may bring."
Bergmann said he plans to return to Washington, gather his belongings and probably return to his home in Viera, Fla., while waiting to learn his fate. Though he said he would love to remain with this organization, he'll also jump at the opportunity to pitch elsewhere if another club comes calling.
"I want to be a major-league pitcher," he said. "I respect this organization a lot. But if I can catch on somewhere else, that's the business of baseball. If not, I'd love to come back here and pitch for this team, because this is the team I've grown up with and I do like it here. I like the people. I'm familiar with the situation that they're going forward with, and I'd like to be a part of that."
Bergmann's removal from the 40-man roster allows rookie left-hander Jesse English to remain. English has appeared in five games so far, allowing two runs and seven hits over five innings, but helped his cause last night with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
"This is a performance-based league that we're in, and Jason just didn't have the consistency, the consistent outings, that we could rely on for a long-term answer for us," Rizzo said. "We felt that other guys were pitching better than him. The decision came down to: Do we take a guy that's throwing well for us because he has options, or do we just go with the best seven guys that we feel can help the club win?"