Rum Bunter Staff Predictions for the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates: Brenden Zielinski
Best Bullpen Arm - David Bednar
Ever since 2021, David Bednar has turned himself into one of the best relievers in all of baseball with the Pirates. From 2021-2022, Bednar posted a combined 2.40 ERA, 2.57 FIP, struck out 146 batters, and had a 1.04WHIP across 112.1 innings pitched and 106 appearances. 2022 was Bednar's first real shot as the team's closer and he didn't disappoint, putting together a 19 save season on one of the worst teams in all of baseball.
Bednar has been an exteremely reliable strikeout pitcher, especially with a combined 32.7K% over the last two seasons in Pittsburgh and his dominant pitching repertoire. Due to his success last season, Bednar was named an NL All-Star and was also invited to represent Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. With Team USA, Bednar posted a 2.25ERA and struck out 5 batters in 4 innings pitched.
With this revamped 2023 Pirates roster, Bednar should be able to provide more save opportunities and continue his recent success as one of the best and most underrated relievers in all of baseball. Colin Holderman could also be considered for the "best bullpen arm" title, but Bednar will easily beat him out for that role.