This is a funny player to do a 2012 projection for. Erik Bedard? You’re super skeptical that he deserves this much attention. Wasn’t he that one lefty who was good on the Orioles for a while before the Mariners traded like their whole team to get him? Did he pitch for the Red Sox last season or are you just imaging things? These are all valid questions I am having you ask yourself. Yes, the Mariners totally overpaid to acquire Bedard. Some of the key prospects they gave up haven’t exactly lit the world on fire since, but that doesn’t change the fact that Bill Bavasi is an idiot. Bedard was also traded to and pitched for the Boston Red Sox a few times last season as they were completely and totally falling apart. Unsurprisingly, he did not pitch very well for them. These things happen.
Luckily for Erik, the baseball season is about to begin anew and hope springs eternal or some other such nonsense. Looking to (finally) put the injury bug behind him and pitch effectively, Bedard signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for one year and 4.5 million this offseason. How do we like his chances to make Neal Huntington and company look smart? The answer probably lies somewhere in that Canadian left shoulder. It’s had some trouble lately. In 2009 there was a torn labrum, and things haven’t really been the same since. In 2010, multiple setbacks during rehab cost Bedard the whole season. 2011 was a bit better, but multiple shoulder tweaks and a whole assortment of other random and nagging injuries held the left-hander to 129.1 inconsistent and infrequent innings. The year wasn’t a complete loss, however, the silver lining being we were treated to this masterpiece of human expression. Wow, indeed.
I think Bedard has a good chance to be pretty dang good this season. Granted, I really like him and am thus super biased. But still. By the way, if anyone has an extra Bedard Mariners jersey lying around, I’m the guy to talk to. The truth is that $4.5 million is not a whole lot to commit to a pitcher, and it won’t take much for Bedard to earn his keep. He’ll need to produce one single measly win above replacement in order to justify his contract, a figure he was able meet in 2008, and surpass in 2009 and 2011—rising home run rate and shoulder trouble and all. Just draft him as your 6th or 7th starting pitcher in fantasy and give it a whirl. It’ll be fun! The reason for optimism in regards to Bedard is as follows:
- He can still strike fools out. Posting a 8.70 K/9 last season. The curveball is still a wonder to behold when it’s working.
- He’s moving to the National League where he will no doubt open his arms and enthusiastically welcome pitchers hitting.
- Facing the Cubs and Astros a bunch won’t hurt either.
- He’s manged to put an almost full season between himself and the dark lost shoulder enigma of 2010. Sure, there were bumps along the way, but given another offseason of rest and rehab, a healthy campaign in 2012 isn’t nearly as ridiculous as it sounds.
- A healthy Bedard is an effective Bedard.
- Maybe he should avoid bunting drills and small staircases for a while though, just to be safe.
- The projection systems kind of like him?
Steamer: 153.0 IP, 8.21 K/9, 3.71 ERA, 3.57 FIP
Bill James: 122.0 IP, 8.78 K/9, 3.54 ERA, 3.56 FIP
RotoChamp: 120.0 IP, 8.78 K/9, 3.53 ERA, 3.61 FIP
Marcel: 125.0 IP, 8.06 K/9, 3.82 ERA, 3.77 FIP
ZiPS (Debbie Downer): 77.1 IP, 8.15 K/9, 3.72 ERA, 3.52 FIP
The Author (Humble and Hopeful): 160.0 IP, 8.5 K/9, 3.55 ERA, 3.40 FIP