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Erik Bedard Makes Good First Impression On Joe Maddon

Erik Bedard Competing For 5th Starter In Rays Rotation

Erik Bedard was one of the last players signed by the Rays this past winter and the veteran of 1o major league seasons is in camp to compete for the Rays fifth starting position.

Despite finishing the 2013 season with a 4-12 record and posting a 4.59 ERA with the hapless Houston Astros in 2013 he did appear in 32 games (26 starts) spanning 150.1 innings of work Rays ManagerJoe Maddon believes that his numbers could improve pitching in front of the Rays defense.

Thus far Maddonhas been pleasantly surprised by Bedard's demeanor."I never knew hes so gregarious. The guy is affable.He talks, hes funny. You never got that watching from a distance. Ilike his personality; I think he fits in well here. He could be better than a .500pitcher."

One aspect of his game that Maddon pointed out was that he was the type of pitcher that is typified within the AL East. "He was able to throw something other than a fastballin a fastball count for a strike. He was uncanny at that. Thats why I thoughthe really ruled when he was with Baltimore.

The reasonable assumption right now is that Jake Odorizzi is the lead dog in the battle for the 5th starters position but based on previous experience and the Rays desire to hoard as much service time from young players Bedard may be in a great position to open the 2014 season as the Rays 5th starter.



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