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 Manager Joe Maddon believes that his numbers could improve pitching in front of the Rays defense.
Thus far Maddon has been pleasantly surprised by Bedard’s demeanor. “I never knew he’s so gregarious. The guy is affable.He talks, he’s funny. You never got that watching from a distance. I like his personality; I think he fits in well here. He could be better than a .500 pitcher.”
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 fastball in a fastball count for a strike. He was uncanny at that. That’s why I thought he 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.