Canaries Bring Back David Bergin, Release Patterson
The Canaries had a surprise in store for the fans at the Birdcage on Wednesday afternoon. David Bergin, a former fan favorite with the Canaries who helped lead the Winnipeg Goldeyes to the 2017 American Association title, was signed by the team less than an hour before the game began. Bergin went 0-for-3 in his Canaries return, flying out three times in the Birds' 3-1 win.
Bergin was granted free agency by the Goldeyes after he was given an incorrect injury diagnosis. Once he knew he wasn't able to head back to Winnipeg, Bergin says he received offers from several teams.
"My first thought was [Canaries general manager] Duell Higbe," Bergin said. "I hit him up immediately."
Bergin spent the better part of two seasons in Sioux Falls, playing with the Canaries in 2015 and 2016. He was traded to the St. Paul Saints in August 2016, spending 2017 with the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Bergin became a fan favorite during his time with the Birds, hitting 15 home runs in each of his two seasons with the team. Bergin hit .331/.427/.552 in 2015, leading the Canaries in home runs, batting average and OPS.
"Ever since 2015 when I first signed here, everyone's treated me fantastic," Bergin said. "I've never had a team take care of me as well as Duell did and the Canaries did."
The Tampa, Fla. native had a stellar season in 2017 for Winnipeg, helping the Goldeyes to their second straight league championship. Bergin hit .323/.430/.589 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI in 2017. His home run total ranked fifth in the American Association.
Bergin says he hopes he'll be able to bring that championship experience to the Canaries this year.
"I try to lead as best I can through example," Bergin said. "I want to be able to be that guy whenever they need it."
In a corresponding roster move, the Canaries released lefty pitcher Jim Patterson. Patterson had struggled for the Birds in five starts this season, finishing with an 11.81 ERA in 16 innings of work.
Bergin and the Canaries are back in action on Thursday night against the Chicago Dogs. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at the Birdcage. Canaries fans can get their tickets at the Sioux Falls Stadium box office or by calling 336-6060.