It was exactly a week ago to the day that the Houston Astros placed pitcher Brad Peacock in the bullpen after he struggled in the starting rotation. The Astros have made a similar move in which starter Erik Bedard will now pitch out of the bullpen as well. The move was a no-brainer, as the left-hander has not pitched well this season.
The 34-year-old went 0-2 with a 9.98 earned run average and 19 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings over five starts. His worst outing by far occurred on April 15 against the Oakland Athletics in which he gave up six earned runs on two hits in 1/3 of an inning.
“I talked to Erik about it, and he took it well,” Astros manager Bo Porter said, according to Astros.com. “He understood the decision, and like I said to him, he’s not a guy that I’ll get up and sit back down. When he gets up, I’m going to get him up and get him in the game. I understand where he’s at in his career, but I do believe that he can really help us in a multitude of roles.
“His strikeouts are up and he’s a guy you can bring in if you find a pocket with some lefties that it may be the back end of a game situation, or it may be a long situation where we have a lead going into the sixth inning, kind of like we did Opening Day, and can set up the closer.”
Bedard will remain in the bullpen indefinitely. The pitcher has already made one appearance as a reliever, which came in a 9-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers Sunday afternoon. The nine-year veteran surrendered one earned run on two hits in 3 1/3 innings. The outing was considered to be a positive as it lowered his season ERA from 8.20 to 7.36.
Bedard has posted a 1.71 strikeout to walk ratio, a .289 opponent’s batting average and 9.82 strikeouts per nine innings in seven games this year.