The Pittsburgh Pirates have released their 2012 Opening Day starter, Erik Bedard. The left hander who was worthy of a rotation spot early in the season, failed to live up to his career numbers as a Pittsburgh Pirate starter down the stretch.
Dejan first reported the unconditional release last evening, the Pirates confirmed it a few moments ago.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Bedard was shutting down the Diamondbacks. We wrote the baffling article that we will paste below. Bedard’s numbers at PNC Park were pretty ok, away from Pittsburgh he was pitiful. We often talk about the Pirates free agent signings as the weakness for the organization–it looks once again like that is the case.
Bedard’s release makes sense. We are actually shocked he pitched as long as he did based on his past injury history. The Pirates have younger pitchers at the Triple-A level, but will any of them get the call to be a starter? The Bucs could plug Kevin Correia back into the rotation, but is that really the absolute best option for this club right now? We think it’s time to be a little brave and assign the job to one of the Triple-A starters who has earned a big league start.
Clint Hurdle has said he is patient with his players to a fault. It looks like this was the case with Bedard who definently showed flashes of what he could do, but more often it was what didn’t happen for the veteran left hander.
The team reorganized the pitching rotation a few times this season attempting to take advantage of matchups for Bedard. They won’t have to worry about protecting their free agent pitcher anymore.
The article below was three weeks ago, after Goldy was the only Diamondbacks player that was able to hit Bedard. Damn a lot changed in three weeks as Bedard has given up 16 runs over his past three starts.
The date was July 7. We called Erik Bedard baffling.
Today is August 7. We called Erik Bedard baffling again.
“His first pitch strikes were in a good place. You can’t pitch much better than that.” Clint Hurdle
Yeah, Clint. He was damn near perfect against Arizona, who came into the Burgh having scored 106 runs since July 18, most in the majors in that span.
Back on July 7 Erik Bedard baffled us. He went three innings without giving up a hit. He looked smooth, especially after giving up a leadoff walk and then snaring a groundball up the middle and stutter-stepping it into a 6-4-3 double play.
Sure, Gorkys Hernandez helped him with some stellar defense in left field. And, yes, Bedard walks too many batters, and has been hit very hard recently, but one damn inning and a couple of inches destroyed the left hander last night, as the Pirates fell to the San Francisco Giants 6-5 at PNC Park.
The Bucs jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and looked like they were going to Zoltan their way to their fifth win in a row. Andrew McCutchen hit a ball into the notch and the best sight in the game was on. Neil Walker just missed hitting a bomb to left field, knocking it off the top of the wall for a double, and Barry Zito was on the ropes.
But silly shit was happening, like Casey McGehee trying to bunt, McGehee hitting into a killer double play, Pedro Alvarez taking a third strike on a baseball that appeared to be a ball screaming at Pedro to murder it.
And Bedard’s control was about to come back to bite him. Some shoddy defense, and the next thing you know Melky Cabrera was keeping his head down while in the tee box and blasted a two iron screamer into the left field bleachers.
The Pirates left hander had cruised through the first nine Giants batters in the first three innings, and then saw all nine Giants hitters in the fourth inning alone before being lifted for Chris Resop, who needed just one pitch to record the last out and end the threat.
We wrote this which everyone in this town was praying would be true after the “How the hell did Melky hit that ball out of the park?” ……..maybe the outing wasn’t as bad as it appeared. The All-Star break could do Bedard some good – maybe he can oil up those screws and come back tighter in the second half.
Well, he’s certainly done that.
He came back to go 13.2 innings with 15 strikeouts at Colorado and at PNC against the Cubs. Bedard was back! But then, a trip to Chicago for a thumping where Bedard gave up eight runs. Shit. Bedard isn’t back, he’s struggling again.
Just when most everyone was writing off the Pirates opening day starter, the lefty fired a two hitter against an Arizona Diamondbacks team hungry to get into the Wild Card race. Bedard allowed only two hits, both to lefty killer Paul Goldschmidt, but even he was erased on one occasion by the Pirates excellent defense. This highlight was a hose from rookie Starling Marte that nailed Goldschmidt at second base by ten feet.
If it wasn’t for Goldschmidt, Bedard was perfect.
Yeah, perfect. Just what the Pirates rotation needed headed into a huge homestand.
Figure it out yet?