Birth Place: Navan, Canada
Weight: 200 lbs.
Canadian-born southpaw Erik Bedard was drafted in the 6th round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He made his major league debut in April of 2002, and stuck with the Orioles for four seasons. In February of 2008, Bedard was sent to Seattle in a deal that included Adam Jones and George Sherrill. At last season’s trade deadline, he was shipped to the Boston Red Sox as part of a three team deal. The Pirates signed him this offseason to a 1 year, $4.5MM contract.
Bedard features a low-90s fastball, a change, and a curveball which he heavily relies on. Bedard’s main problem is staying healthy and reliable for the entire season. He made 33 starts in 2006, which is the only year Bedard has been able to stay in the rotation for the entire season. His best season came in 2007 when he went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA for the O’s. He lost his chance at a Cy Young that season when he was shut down with an oblique strain in August. Bedard pitched decently for the Mariners from 2008-2011, but was again plagued with injuries. His injuries included shoulder problems, a torn labrum, knee strains, and lat strains. Late last season, Bedard pitched well for the Sox until he got hurt in September, leaving him with mediocre stats for his few days in Boston.
The Pirates picked up Bedard for a pretty good price, considering he didn’t have arm trouble in 2011 and there weren’t many lefty options in the free agent market. Obviously, there is concern since he is so injury prone. It shouldn’t be too big of a problem if he flames out because we signed him for a decent price. However, if Bedard stays healthy and pitches well, he could easily emerge as the ace of the Pirates staff. He has good stuff and will be the first Pirates starter in a while that can actually strike batters out, instead of relying on the defense. We named Bedard a “player to watch” in 2012, and we’re excited to see how he does. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and contribute to the Buccos rotation.