ERIK BEDARD
LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: March 5, 1979
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 200
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 6th Round, 187th Overall, 1999 (Orioles)
How Acquired: Free Agent
College: Norwalk (CT) CC
Agent: Mark Pieper

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Bedard’s career has been littered with injuries, including Tommy John surgery while he was in the minors, labrum surgery in 2009, and various other ailments.  So far, though, he’s been able to come back every time and resume pitching as well as all but the elite LHPs.  He throws a low 90s fastball, usually topping out arond 93, and a change.  His main pitch, though, is a curve that he throws nearly a third of the time.  He has no platoon split:  for his career, right-handed batters have posted a .684 OPS against him and left-handed batters .683.  He’s had a tendency to tire late in the year; his ERA is 4.62 in August and 3.70 overall in his career, and he hasn’t pitched very much in September.  He’s also not an innings-eater, as he’s averaged a little under six innings per start.  He’s not especially a groundball or flyball pitcher.  The Pirates signed him to a one-year deal for $4.5M.

1999
R:  2-1-0, 1.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 29.0 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 12.7 K/9

Had a strong debut in rookie ball, with a lot of strikeouts.

2000
A:  9-4-2, 3.57 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 111.0 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 10.6 K/9

Continued strong showing in full season ball.  He allowed only two HRs all year.

2001
R:  0-1-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 6.0 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 10.5 K/9
A+:  9-2-0, 2.15 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 96.1 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 12.1 K/9

Bedard established himself as the Orioles’ top prospect with a great season in high A, although he missed some time due to injury.

2002
AA:  6-3-0, 1.97 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 68.2 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 13.50 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 0.2 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9

Bedard was added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster after the 2001 season and appeared briefly in the majors in April 2002.  After heading to AA, he continued pitching very well until a mid-season game in which he was sent back to the mound for another inning despite having reached his pitch count.  He blew out his elbow a few pitches into the inning and had to have Tommy John surgery.  The incident cost the AA manager (former Pirate Dave Cash) and pitching coach their jobs.

2003
R:  0-0-0, 1.12 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 8.0 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 12.4 K/9
A-:  0-0-0, 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 1.2 BB/9, 15.3 K/9

A+:  0-1-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 3.2 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 4.9 K/9

Bedard spent the year working his way back from the surgery.

2004
AAA:  0-1-0, 7.20 ERA, 2.20 WHIP, 5.0 IP, 5.4 BB/9, 5.4 K/9
MLB:  6-10-0, 4.59 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 137.1 IP, 4.7 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

Always desperate for pitching, the Orioles gave Bedard only two outings in AAA.  He spent most of the season in the major league rotation and held his own despite being rushed.  He managed to post a league-average ERA despite allowing a lot of baserunners.

2005
A:  1-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 5.0 IP, 1.8 BB/9, 16.2 K/9
AA:  0-1-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2.0 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 18.2 K/9
MLB:  6-8-0, 4.00 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 141.2 IP, 3.6 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

Bedard got off to a strong start, with a 2.08 ERA through late May, but he missed two months with a sprained knee and posted a 5.44 ERA after returning.

2006
MLB:  15-11-0, 3.76 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 196.1 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

For the only time in his career, Bedard managed to stay in the rotation all year, making 33 starts.

2007
MLB:  13-5-0, 3.16 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 182.0 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 10.9 K/9

Bedard had his best season, contending for the Cy Young award until a strained oblique shut him down in late August.  With their ace pitcher likely to leave as a free agent following the 2009 season, the rebuilding Orioles sent him to Seattle for a package of prospects in a trade that worked out very badly for the Mariners.

2008
MLB:  6-4-0, 3.67 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 81.0 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Bedard pitched reasonably well for the M’s, helped by their ballpark, but he had uncharacteristic control problems.  By mid-season he was shut down with shoulder trouble.

2009
MLB:  5-3-0, 2.82 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 83.0 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 9.8 K/9

For the first four months of 2009, Bedard pitched as well as he ever had, fanning more than a batter an inning and allowing opponents only a 212/298/329 line.  In July, however, he was diagnosed with a torn labrum and had season-ending surgery.  After the season, he signed a one-year deal with the Mariners, with a mutual option for 2010.

2010
R:  0-0-0, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 6.2 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 14.8 K/9
AAA: 0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 4.1 IP, 6.2 BB/9, 6.2 K/9

Bedard struggled rehabbing his shoulder and was able to pitch in only three minor league games.  The M’s decline their part of the option and signed Bedard to an incentive-laden, bargain contract for 2011.

2011
MLB (Sea):  4-7-0, 3.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 91.1 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.6 K/9
MLB (Bos):  1-2-0, 4.03 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 38.0 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 9.0 K/9

Bedard again managed to come back strongly for the Mariners, although he missed time during the year with both knee and lat strains.  The M’s sent him to Boston in a deadline deal.  He continued pitching well for the Sox until getting hurt in his first September start.  He came back for two more starts late in the month and pitched poorly, which left him with mediocre numbers for his Boston stint.

It’s surprising the Pirates were able to sign Bedard for so little, considering his history of bouncing back, as well as the fact that he didn’t have any arm problems in 2011.  His velocity did drop a little late in the year, but that’s not surprising considering that it was the first time he’d started more than 15 games in the majors since 2007, as well as the fact that he missed essentially all of 2010.  He’s obviously a gamble, as his history suggests that there’s no realistic chance of him pitching more than about two-thirds of the season.  It’d be nice, though, to see the Pirates with a starter who actually strikes out hitters.  With A.J. Burnett hurt, Bedard was the team’s opening day starter.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2003: $300,000
2005: $330,000
2006: $1,400,000
2007: $3,400,000
2008: $7,000,000
2009: $7,750,000
2010: $1,500,000
2011: $1,000,000
2012: $4,500,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 1999
MLB Debut: 4/17/2002
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2012
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: November 20, 2001
Options Remaining: N/A
MLB Service Time: 8.171
TRANSACTIONS
June 2, 1999: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 6th round, 187th overall; signed on June 8.
November 20, 2001: Contract purchased by the Baltimore Orioles.
February 8, 2008: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Seattle Mariners for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, Chris Tillman and Tony Butler.
November 6, 2009: Became a free agent.
February 4, 2010: Signed with the Seattle Mariners.
November 3, 2010: Became a free agent.
December 2, 2010: Signed with the Seattle Mariners.
July 31, 2011: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Boston Red Sox as part of a three-team trade involving the Los Angeles Dodgers.
October 30, 2011: Became a free agent.
December 7, 2011: Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.