In his Houston Astros‘ debut, starting pitcher Erik Bedard came out of the bullpen on Opening Night, and he looked as if he would be a pleasant surprise to this young Astros squad. Well, a few starts into the season, Bedard finds himself back in the bullpen, and no longer a starting pitcher. The Astros may be the worst team in baseball, but they will try to put together the best possible situation that can win them ballgames. They won’t win many, but they aren’t just going to quit because the New York Yankee’s disabled list has a higher payroll than they do. They’re still ballplayers, and they still want to win some games. That said, this move to send Bedard to the bullpen was the right one.
For a couple weeks, fans have been calling for the Astros to put Paul Clemens in the starting rotation. When Brad Peacock was placed in the bullpen from the rotation, many fans thought Clemens would be able to take his spot. Now that Bedard is being sent to the pen, is this Clemens’ spot or will someone else take it? That is remaining to be seen. As of now, there is no word on who will take Bedard’s rotation spot. Many people around the organization believe it will be someone from the bullpen, perhaps Clemens. Few believe they may call up hot prospect Jarred Cosart.
Knowing the Astros, they will wait as long as they can before calling up Cosart. If the Astros were to call him up now, Cosart would gain Super Two status, and have an extra year of arbitration. If they can wait until June, the Astros will avoid that status, and he will be good to go, and probably be in Houston longer. This leads me to believe someone from the Astros bullpen will be placed into the starting rotation.
The most logical choice to replace Bedard with is Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel pitched well in the first game of the Detroit Tigers series, but came away with the loss as runners who were on base when he left the game in the 14th inning came across to score. It was a tough luck loss, but he looked good in that game. He also looked good in his first stint with the Astros earlier in the season. When the Astros called up both he and Jordan Lyles, Lyles grabbed Peacock’s rotation spot, and pitched well enough to earn the win, but unfortunately was handed a no decision. If the Astros feel that Keuchel is ready, he will more than likely earn that spot in the rotation.
Something to pay attention to, is this: without Bedard, the Astros no longer have a left handed starter. Keuchel, who is left handed, will fill that role nicely.