Following an All-Star season in 2022, what could 2023 have in store for Pirate reliever David Bednar?
During the 2022 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates had just one All-Star. This All-Star was relief pitcher David Bednar. Now, the Pittsburgh native will be looking to build upon that for bigger things during the 2023 season.
Last season, Bednar spent time on the injured list. Despite missing time, he still logged 51.2 innings in 45 relief appearances. Both of these were second only to 2022 (60.2 innings pitched, 61 appearances) in career highs.
Bednar posted a 2.61 ERA and a 2.44 FIP in his 51.2 innings pitched. He walked just 7.6% of batters faced, while striking batters out at a 32.9% clip. He also limited home runs, allowing home runs at a career-low rate of 0.70 HR/9.
The season Bednar had led to him being named a National League All-Star. Thanks in part to petitioning from New York Met close Edwin Diaz, Bednar got to pitch an inning the Mid-Summer Classic, posting a zero.
Despite a successful 2022 season, Bednar will still have something to prove in 2023. Last season, he was struggling prior to his IL stint. There is an argument to be made, however, that this was due to overuse as a result of a poor Pirate bullpen.
Bednar posted a 6.75 ERA and a 3.20 FIP in 12.0 innings pitched in his 13 outings leading up to his IL stint. This including him allowing 17 hits during this stretch. After returning from the IL, Bednar allowed just six hits, while walking a pair and striking out six in 5.0 innings pitched. He allowed just one earned run (1.80 ERA) in these 5.0 innings pitched.
During the 2023 season, Bednar will be looking to prove he can be effective from start to finish. He did this in 2021 but that was a different animal, as he was not used as the team's top high leverage arm the entire season. In 2023 he will be, just as he was in 2022, and Bednar will be looking to prove he can pitch at an All-Star level in high-leverage situations from start to finish.