Nothing against Erik Bedard, but the Astros don’t need him.
Bedard is a solid major league pitcher, and after a rough start he has actually had a pretty good season for the Astros. After posting a 7.98 ERA in April (including his scoreless outing on Opening Day), the lefty righted the ship with ERA’s of 3.99, 3,19, and 3.86 respectively. So far this month, Bedard has a 5.40 ERA and for the season it is 4.48 to go along with his 3-9 record.
Not great numbers, but not terrible either. More importantly, Bedard has eaten innings for the Astros and given their young pitchers some time to develop. But now, we only have about a month left in the season, and Bedard really does not have a future with the Astros.
However, Paul Clemens is a pitcher who might have a future in Houston. And that is what Bo Porter needs to find out. It is also why it makes perfect sense for Clemens to take Bedard’s rotation spot as the 25-year old is set to make his first major league start tomorrow against the Chicago White Sox.
Clemens came up to the big leagues in April when the Astros were in dire need of bullpen help. He really did not have much relieving experience, but he did a pretty good job of holding down the fort and producing in key spots. As of late, his performance began to suffer, and his season ERA sits at 6.36 with a WHIP 1.46.
Obviously those numbers are not going to generate much optimism, but Clemens had some good moments and was pitching in a role that he was not familiar with.
The Astros sent Clemens down to AAA about a month ago where he made six starts registering a 3-2 record and averaging five innings per start while striking out a total of 16 batters.
Porter does not exactly know what he has in Clemens, but he needs to find out. This is what September is all about for a team like the Astros. Now granted the whole season has been like this, but for Houston this is just a preview of Spring Training.