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April 13, 2009

Bedard: Heeeee's back

Former Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard pitched into the ninth inning yesterday against the Oakland A's and gave up no runs and just three hits. He is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in two starts and is tied for the American League lead with 15 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings.

Now, I know for a fact that he got a little nostalgic for Baltimore last year and he can become a free agent after this year, but here's the Bedard paradox. If he has a stellar year -- and he certainly has the talent to win 17 games and have a top five ERA -- he's actually less likely to end up back here than if he wins 13 games and has a 3.90 ERA.

If he has a great year, he could be the top free agent pitcher on the market, which would probably price him out of Baltimore, since Andy MacPhail has made it clear that he prefers to develop pitching and use the free agent market to fill holes in the everyday lineup.

Obviously, the Orioles are going to be focused on the bright pitchers they already have in the organization, but even if Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz are close, there's room for another front-line guy if they really hope to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox in 2010 and beyond.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:19 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Just baseball


But then the question is, why would we want him? In an interview somewhere he said he couldn't take the strain of pitching in the AL East.

I vote for staying the course and using that money to find long-term replacements for first and third.

If Bedard does have a great 2009 campaign the it would be foolish for Andy not to consider Bedard an option. You have to proceed assuming that all of the "prospects" aren't going to pan out. However when healthy Bedard is a proven commodity. And with his ties and friendships here in conjunction with the improvements the team has made I think Baltimore would be an attractive option for him to make a return and become the true #1 guy. If it happened gone would be the days of allowing Adam Eaton to take the mound. And what a formidable rotation it would be to have Bedard, Guthrie, Uehara and the final 2 spots filled out by the likes of Bergeson, Tillman, etc. Andy would be bull-headed and naive not to take a look.

I watched the game. He looked very good - fairly economical. Fastball at 92-93 and touching 94 at times. The curveball still devastating - to both LHs and RHs.

He's a Kazmir-type. Likely overvalued (due to inefficiency with pitches) because he's not going to give you 220 innings or get past the 7th often, but as likely as anyone to get you into the 8th having given up only a run or two.

I certainly wouldn't mind making a run at him. But I don't think I'd even go Burnett-high.

Sounds good. I'd take a "healthy" Bedard back in a heartbeat!!!

Imagine being a Mariners fan watching Jones, Sherrill, and Tillman over the next few years. Now imagine them watching Bedard leave as a free agent, or much worse (FOR THEM) return to Baltimore after just 2 seasons. Ouch! Forget Glenn Davis. The Pacific Northwest will be cursing the name Erik Bedard for a long, long time.

Bedard, Guthrie, Uehara, Bergeson, (healthy) Rich Hill might compose the best rotation in baseball.

Pete's reply: I was kind of hoping for Tillman and Arrieta.

I guess the 2 big questions about Bedard are his health and whether he'd want to come back to Baltimore. I watched a little of his latest outing, during rare commercial breaks during the Masters and he looked pretty sharp.
I suppose he'd go anywhere for big $$$ but in the back of my mind, I think he'll always be one fo those pitchers(like Carpenter/Bonderman/Burnett) who you always suspect will end up on the DL every year.
I agree with your rationale that a semi-successful year might lower his contract demands but thne again, you never know. Teams coughed up huge $$$ to free-agent pitchers like Silva/Washburn etc but it looks like the gravy days are endindg(thank God!)

If Bedard has a good year and hits the free agent market discussions about him will be tediously reminiscent of those about A.J. Burnett.

Pete's reply: You're probably right about that.

Does Bedard even want to come back to Baltimore? I never remember him saying how much he loved it here. Well for the sake of saving money, lets hope he has a mediocre year. Let's face it, the guy can pitch. To think about Bedard, Guthrie, Arrieta, Matusz, Tillman, Uehara as rotation candidates, that's scary. We have to be careful about putting too much stock in these young guys though. I think you have to play your cards right and assume that all 3 aren't going to turn out to be studs.

it really depends on if the Mariners stay near the top of their division by mid-season.
If they don't i expect to see Bedard traded in July.

Would love to see Eric come back to the O's as a free agent, but I think it's wishful thinking.
After T-Bag fiasco I don't get my hopes up on anyone.

Speaking of home grown guys making it good-- do you have any news on where Adam Loewen is and how his transition is going? Thx

Our future pitching staff lies in Norfolk and Bowie. Bedard wanted out so bad and we granted him his wish. Why would the Orioles want him back after a good or bad year? Sure the talent is there but what about his attitude. My rotation for the future is Guthrie, Uehara, Bergeson, Arrieta, and Tillman.

Bergesen is two weeks away from a call up (either Simon or Eaton will go). After that, Tillman is next up in mid to late May to replace the other guy listed above. By late June the Orioles will be looking at a much better picture of their future as Bergesen and Tillman compliment Uehara and Guthrie. There will be no FA additions to the O's this offseason as at least three and hopefully four slots will be filled and Arrieta, Hernandez and Matusz will all be in line to take the remaining spots in the rotation.

Bring him back! I miss his elaborate, yet eloquent, post-game interviews. Besides, then I could get my orange #45 Bedard jersey out of the mothballs ...

Hill and Uehera are only placeholders :P

I'll be surprised if Bedard just stays healthy all year but heck yeah,I'd love to have him back to lead the rotation of up and comers. Whatever starters we have left over put them in the bully.

Who's Erik Bedard?

"Since Andy MacPhail has made it clear that he prefers to develop pitching", didn't we develop Bedard? You mean we don't want to give up anything for pitching? It's a buy low, sell high market!

Got it!

Pete's reply: Yes, the Orioles developed Bedard, then traded him for a ton and didn't have to pay him for a year in which he was hurt. Sounds like Andy knows what he's doing.

I can still remember Dempsey interviewing Bedard on a Wednesday, telling Eric that he was the 2nd best interview on the club.

Bedard asks who's first and Rick replies "the other 24 guys are tied."

Perhaps we are getting a bit carried away with the new regime's "can't miss prospects". Tillman we now hear has NEVER pitched into the seventh inning showing he doesn't know how to pitch to contact. Also, Matusz has some mechanical flaws which should be corrected at Single-A before rushing him up the ladder. Sounds like we are not so much developing these pitchers for long-term success but rather letting their prospect rankings determine their arrival date.


It's best that this organization keeps Bedard in the rear-view, even if he wanted to come back here in the worst way.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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