Érik Bédard

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This article is about the Major League Baseball player. For the short track speed skater, see Éric Bédard.
Érik Bédard
Érik Bédard on July 31, 2013.jpg
Bedard with the Astros in 2013
Free Agent
Starting pitcher
Born: (1979-03-05) March 5, 1979 (age 35)
Navan, Ontario
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
April 17, 2002 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
(through June 1, 2014)
Win–loss record 69–80
Earned run average 3.96
Strikeouts 1,216
WHIP 1.36
Teams

Érik Joseph Bédard (pronounced [eʁik beˈdɑʁ] baydar; born March 6, 1979) is a Canadian professional baseball pitcher who most recently played for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Bédard previously pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros. With Baltimore, he was the staff ace, setting the franchise single-season strikeouts per nine innings record at 10.93 in 2007.[1]

Early years[edit]

Bédard was born on March 6, 1979 in Navan, Ontario, a suburb of Ottawa. A Franco-Ontarian, Bédard began his baseball career in the Orleans Little League and the Ontario Baseball Association. He was a pitcher on the 1992 Orleans Junior Red Sox team which beat Glace Bay in the 1992 Canadian Championship.[2] Bédard did not play high school baseball, which is the norm in Canada due to the short season.

Although 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) and 120 pounds (54 kg) as a senior, he grew seven inches and gained 30 pounds (14 kg) during the summer between graduating from high school and beginning college. He accompanied a friend to a tryout at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut, and made the baseball team as a walk-on.[3]

While in college, he added 10 miles per hour to his fastball, gained another 30 pounds (14 kg), took the "lowest level" non-credit English language course to enhance his knowledge of the language, and became a junior college All-American.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

As a left-handed starter, Bédard pitched four seasons with the Orioles. After posting dominating numbers when he was at the Double-A level, he quickly gained recognition as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, gaining comparison to lefty Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. However, an elbow ligament injury forced him to the operating table, and set his development back 18 months. After spending most of 2003 in rehab, he received an invitation to big-league spring training the next year. He made the most of his opportunity, beating out other pitchers for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. In 2004, he posted a 4.59 ERA in 137⅓ innings of work. His strikeout numbers were 7.93 K/9, and he had 71 walks allowed. Bédard was criticized for having a high pitch count (19.5 pitches/inning), forcing him to frequently make early exits from ballgames, and he was criticized for lacking a third type of pitch.

Bédard pitching for the Baltimore Orioles in 2006

Under the tutelage of pitching coach Ray Miller, who rejoined the Orioles in the middle of the 2004 season, Bédard refined his control of the changeup (his third pitch) to go along with his 91–93 mph fastball and slurve. In the beginning of 2005, he posted a 2.08 ERA, but after a sprained knee sidelined him for two months, he posted a 5.44 ERA.

Bédard had one of his best statistical years in 2006, going 15–11 in 33 starts and posting a 3.76 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He also pitched a total of 196.1 innings, his highest in any season.

Bédard was named the Orioles' 2007 Opening Day starting pitcher. On May 20, Bédard recorded his first major league hit, a single up the middle in the 5th against the Washington Nationals. In his next at-bat, he looped an RBI single over shortstop, going 2–2 with a sacrifice in the game.

On July 7, Bédard struck out 15 Texas Rangers, matching the Orioles franchise record set by Mike Mussina. In the same game, he faced the minimum number of batters (27), as the only two batters who reached base were later out on double plays. His 15 strikeouts also set the record for the most in a game by a Canadian. His performance throughout the month earned him the American League Pitcher of the month award for July 2007.

Although he played for a losing team, Bédard's individual performance put him among those shortlisted to contend for the American League Cy Young Award.[5] Then-teammate Kevin Millar stated that Bédard "probably has the best curveball in baseball."[6] Bédard broke the franchise single-season strikeout record on August 26. The previous record was held by Mike Mussina, who had 218 in 1997.

The results of an MRI on September 4 confirmed that Bédard suffered a strained oblique in his previous start on August 26.[7] Because the Orioles were eliminated from playoff contention later that week, manager Dave Trembley decided to shut down Bédard for the remainder of the season on September 9, prematurely ending Bédard's season by placing him on the 60-day disabled list.[8]

Bédard finished the season with a 13–5 record, posting a 3.16 ERA with 221 strikeouts. He was eligible for arbitration from the Orioles during the 2007–2008 offseason.[9]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

On February 8, 2008, Bédard was traded to the Seattle Mariners in a 5-for-1 deal sending outfielder Adam Jones and pitchers George Sherrill, Tony Butler, Chris Tillman and Kam Mickolio to the Orioles.[10] On February 13, Mariners manager John McLaren announced that Bédard would be their Opening Day starter.[11] Bédard signed a one-year, 7-million dollar deal with the Seattle Mariners on February 15, avoiding any salary arbitration.[12] In spring training in 2008, he led the major leagues in home runs given up, with nine in 24 innings. On July 10, 2008, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list.[13]

Bédard only played the first four months of the 2009 season before landing on the disabled list due to a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder. He finished with a 5–3 record and a 2.82 ERA. He became a free agent following the season.[14]

On February 6, 2010, Bédard re-signed with the Seattle Mariners to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2011.[15] At the start of the 2010 season, there was hope Bédard would return to the majors as soon as May or June 2010. Since then, he suffered multiple setbacks while rehabbing his shoulder and did not pitch in 2010.

After the 2010 season, the Mariners declined their 2011 option on Bédard's contract. The Mariners re-signed Bédard to an incentive laden non-guaranteed contract.[16]

Boston Red Sox[edit]

Bédard during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox in 2011

On July 31, 2011, Bédard and minor league pitcher Josh Fields were traded to the Boston Red Sox for minor league outfielders Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang as part of a three team deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners.[17]

Bedard made eight starts for the Red Sox in August and September. He never went more than six innings, and had one win, two losses and a 4.03 ERA.[18][19]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

Bédard with the Pittsburgh Pirates

On December 7, 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Bédard to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.[20] He was their 2012 Opening Day Starter.[21]

Bedard had 7 wins, 14 losses and an ERA of 5.02 in 24 starts, and was released on August 28.[22]

Houston Astros[edit]

After their move to the American League, the Houston Astros signed Bédard to a minor-league deal on January 21, 2013.[23] He recorded his first career save on opening day, March 31, 2013 with 3 1/3 innings of relief against rival Texas Rangers. On July 21, 2013, he pitched 6 and 1/3 innings of a no hitter when he asked to leave his no hitter after 109 pitches [24]

Tampa Bay Rays[edit]

On February 17, 2014, he signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.[25] He was released by the Rays on March 25 and became a free agent, exercising an "opt out" clause in his contract after not making the starting rotation at the end of spring training.[26]

On March 28, it was announced that Bédard had changed his mind about opting out of his contract, and that he had agreed to report to the Durham Bulls, the AAA minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.[27]

On April 11 the Rays announced that Bédard had been called up from Durham to the major league team.[28] He pitched for the Rays until he was designated for assignment on July 28, 2014.[29] Bédard was released on August 3.[30]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Orioles trade Bedard to Mariners for five prospects". ESPN.Go.com. Associated Press. February 9, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  2. ^ Sherwin, Fred (April 5, 2005). "Orleans Little League Baseball – Erik Bédard". OLLB – Orleans Little League Baseball. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  3. ^ David Picker, New York Times, Soft-Spoken Bédard Has Others Talking, August 15, 2007
  4. ^ Fordin, Spencer (July 30, 2007). "Bedard arrives on a road less traveled O's young ace took an unlikely route to stardom in Majors". MLB.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  5. ^ "AWARDS WEDNESDAY: A-ROD DROPS, WRIGHT RISES" NYPOST.com. August 15, 2007.
  6. ^ "Red Sox-Orioles Preview" CBC.ca. August 10, 2007.
  7. ^ "MRI confirms Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard has strained oblique" canadianpress.google.com. September 4, 2007.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Bedard Done for the Season" baltimoresun.com. September 9, 2007.
  9. ^ ""2007 Arbitration Eligibles"". Mlbcontracts.blogspot.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ Street, Jim (February 8, 2008). "Mariners seal deal for Bedard Fireballing lefty arrives as Seattle sends five players to O's". MLB.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  11. ^ Street, Jim (February 13, 2008). "Bedard named Opening Day starter Experience determining factor over Hernandez". MLB.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  12. ^ Street, Jim (February 15, 2008). "Bedard inks one-year deal with Mariners Left-hander obtained in trade with Orioles in early February". MLB.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  13. ^ Street, Jim (July 10, 2008). "Bedard might miss DL with Batista injury Right-hander leaves game against A's in third inning". MLB.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  14. ^ Street, Jim (November 6, 2009). "Bedard, Batista, Chavez opt for free agency". MLB.com. Retrieved November 7, 2009. 
  15. ^ Street, Jim (February 6, 2010). "Mariners bring back lefty Bedard". MLB.com. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  16. ^ Baker, Geoff (December 2, 2010). "Mariners sign Erik Bedard to a one-year deal". The Seattle Times. 
  17. ^ "Red Sox acquire starting left-hander Erik Bedard from Seattle | redsox.com: News". Boston.redsox.mlb.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ Annie Maroon, WEEI, Friday's Red Sox-Astros Matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Erik Bedard, April 26, 2013
  19. ^ Didier Morais, NESN, Erik Bedard Signs With Pittsburgh, December 7, 2011
  20. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (December 7, 2011). "Bucs ink Bedard to one-year contract". MLB. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  21. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (March 23, 2012). "Pirates choose Erik Bedard as Opening Day starter". NBC.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  22. ^ Nowak, Joey (August 28, 2012). "Pirates release veteran lefty Bedard". 
  23. ^ "Twitter / ShiDavidi: Canadian Erik Bedard signs". Twitter.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Erik Bedard of Houston Astros asked to leave no-hit bid in 7th inning - ESPN". Espn.go.com. July 21, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ Rays Baseball at Twitter.com
  26. ^ ESPN, Tampa Bay Rays Release Veteran Erik Bedard, March 25, 2014
  27. ^ Aaron Gleeman, NBC Sports, Erik Bedard changes his mind about Triple-A, re-signs with the Rays, March 28, 2014
  28. ^ Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times, Bedard Called Up, Will be in Bullpen Sunday, April 11, 2014
  29. ^ Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times, Erik Bedard Designated for Assignment, July 28, 2014
  30. ^ @RaysProspects on Twitter.com, "Rays have officially released LHP Erik Bedard and RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo." August 3, 2014

External links[edit]

Preceded by
J. J. Putz
American League Pitcher of the Month
July 2007
Succeeded by
Andy Pettitte
Preceded by
Johan Santana
AL hits per nine innings leader
2008
Succeeded by
Daisuke Matsuzaka