The Pittsburgh Pirates have shown great confidence in David Bednar, allowing him to pitch in high leverage situations.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates traded away Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres this offseason, in return the team received back four players, including one Major League ready reliever in David Bednar. Marty broke down the trade when it happened, and concluded that:
"“Odds are Bednar will start the 2021 season as a member of the Pirate bullpen. After the trade general manager Ben Cherington even hinted at as much. So, he should get an opportunity to make a quick impact with the Pittsburgh Pirates.”"
That has been the case, with Bednar making the Opening Day team and appearing in six games and 4.2 innings, where has posted a 3.86 ERA. At times, Bednar has shown lights out stuff but others he has struggled a bit. One thing that appears clear is the team trusting him in more leveraged spots, pitching three times in the eighth inning already.
Last night was a good illustration as with runners on the corners and two outs in a 7-4 ballgame, Dereck Shelton called upon Bednar to get the final out of the sixth. He walked Jorge Mateo but was able to get Tommy Pham to groundout to end the inning. He went back out for the seventh inning but after a leadoff single followed by a walk, the right-hander was removed for Chris Stratton.
While he didn’t get out of the seventh and only recorded the last out in the sixth, it appears the Pirates want to see how he will react and if he can be a fireballer of sorts. With Bednar’s ability and the pitches he has shown, there is potential for him to be a backend reliever but with that spot taken by Richard Rodriguez, seeing how Bednar reacts in certain situations is important. Last night was a good illustration and one the Pirates will look to keep doing. In the short term, Bednar appears to be the guy used to escape jams with potential eighth or ninth inning stuff later on.