Bromberg out to prove doubters wrong

Pirates farmhand eager to pay back ex-team for lack of faith

David Bromberg has struck out 61 batters over 59 innings this year. (Mark Olson/

By Ashley Marshall / Special to | June 12, 2013 9:45 PM ET

Drafted by the Minnesota Twins as a 17-year-old, David Bromberg spent his entire adult life -- and professional career -- working his way through the Twins' Minor League system.

He reached Triple-A twice, first in 2010 and again two years later after recovering from a shattered forearm sustained when he was hit by a line drive in 2011.

Bromberg -- who needed five pins placed in his arm during the reconstructive surgery -- thought he had made solid progress in his rehab, but the Twins chose not to re-sign him this offseason.

The 26-year-old took it as a personal insult. On Wednesday, he made a point of showing his former organization what they were missing out on.

Bromberg tied a career high with 12 strikeouts over six one-run innings as the Double-A Altoona Curve edged the host New Britain Rock Cats, 3-1, to sweep a doubleheader.

"It's always good to do well against your old team," said Bromberg. "I was kind of mad in the offseason that they didn't sign me back. They showed me disrespect that I didn't do well enough to be a Minnesota Twin. I miss all those guys on the Twins, but when they didn't sign me, I knew I had to show them redemption."

The 6-foot-5 right-hander fanned two batters in the first, fourth and fifth innings, and he struck out the side in the second and sixth. It was the most he had recorded since whiffing a dozen for Fort Myers in a 7-1 win over Brevard County on May 30, 2009.

The lone run against Bromberg came in the third, the only frame he did not record a punchout. Danny Santana beat out a bunt single off Bromberg's glove, Eddie Rosario scorched a 1-0 changeup over the second baseman's head and Josmil Pinto walked to load the bases. Top Minnesota prospect Miguel Sano then plated the Rock Cats' only run with a sacrifice fly to left field.

"I was in the Twins organization for seven years, so I know that guy well," Bromberg said of Sano. "I've seen him come up with the bat, he's strong. It was a 3-1 pitch and I didn't want to walk in a run, so I threw a fastball away from him and he still pulled it. He pretty much just missed hitting a grand slam."

Bromberg had few problems the rest of the way, setting down the final 10 batters he faced before turning things over to the bullpen.

It was the second time in a span of five hours that New Britain was unable to figure out Altoona pitching.

Stolmy Pimentel limited the hosts to a run on three hits over seven innings in a complete-game victory in the first half of the twinbill, and Bromberg made a point of noting weaknesses in the lineup.

"Pimentel did a great job," he said. "He looked straight-out nasty. He had fastball command, a good changeup and a good slider. He made it look easy. He set the tone and we got our bats going.

"I was in the dugout for the first five innings, so I watched. Being a starter, you have so much extra time to take notes on hitters, to see what they can and can't hit. The big league guys get so many pages of notes on what pitchers can do and what pitches batters can hit. I keep notes on which guys step out, which guys can't hit changeups, which guys pull the ball -- I have a big book with a bunch of notes."

Until last winter, he never expected to have to fill the pieces of paper with notes on Twins hitters. That changed when Minnesota chose not to ink him to a new deal.

"I played in the Venezuelan Winter League for the Tigers in October and seven or eight of the [Twins] Latinos would tell me how good the hitters were. I knew that because I was a free agent I would probably see those guys again. [Eddie Rosario], I saw him in the World Baseball Classic on TV so I watched how they pitched him. That's how I knew how to attack him. He leans in on the plate so any fastball in on his hands, he can't hit.

"My teammates fired me up in the dugout today. They were saying, 'This is your old team, Bromberg. Hey, let's go.' I'm such a competitor."

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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