The Astros will continue to go with a 6-man starting rotation, but veteran lefty Erik Bedard will no longer be a part of it. The Astros have decided to move Bedard to the bullpen for the rest of the season.
Although Bedard has been fairly consistent as a starter, the Astros believe it will be more beneficial to the team to have him work as a reliever for the next five weeks. The bullpen has been a constant source of agony for Astros fans in 2013, so adding the reliable left arm of Bedard actually sounds like a decent idea.
Bo porter noted that Kevin Chapman is the only lefty currently pitching out of the Astros’ retooled bullpen and adding Bedard gives him a second lefty to work with. The club also wants to use the last month of the season to get a good look at a few of the young starters and try to determine what their future roles with the team might be.
What does all of that mean going forward? Dallas Keuchel and Brett Oberholtzer will be staying in the rotation. David Martinez would appear to be the top candidate to take Bedard’s vacated rotation spot.
As for Bedard, he wasn’t too happy to hear the news. In a conversation with Astros’ beat writer Brian McTaggart, Bedard had this to say:
"I’m very surprised. I don’t even know what to say. They said they looked at my last two years and my innings total was around where I’m at right now, and they said if I keep pitching I’ll be about 40 over, and I said, Yeah, that’s the point. That’s it. I’d rather stay in the rotation."
Erik Bedard (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Bedard has already provided us with plenty of surprises this season. A 10-out save on Opening Day was a pleasant surprise. Then, after his first four starts yielded an ERA over eight, I think most of us were surprised that he wasn’t released. But, much to our surprise again, Bedard righted the ship and became a dependable starter.
His near no-hitter was certainly a surprise, as is the fact that he wasn’t traded at the deadline. So, at this point, we shouldn’t be surprised with his move to the ‘pen. The one knock on Bedard has been his inability to go deep into games due to an elevated pitch count. I think moving him to the bullpen will be a good move for both Erik and the team.