M's give up too much for Bedard
February, 5, 2008
In acquiring Erik Bedard, the Mariners get one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, but was it worth the cost? Bedard posted one of the greatest strikeout seasons ever in 2007, fanning over 30 percent of the batters he faced, the seventh-best mark in American League history. His out pitch is an 11-to-5 curveball that is poison to both left- and right-handed hitters, and he sets it up well with good command of his 91-94 mph four-seamer and a cutter he's been using more often of late to keep hitters from sitting on the fastball. His control has been steadily improving as he gets older and further away from 2002 Tommy John surgery. The main issue with Bedard to date has been health; he missed all of 2003 after getting the zipper on his elbow, his 2007 season ended early due to an oblique strain, and he has never thrown 200 innings in a single season. He was both effective and strong until mid-August last year, when the oblique strain really affected his performance, so there's some reason to expect him to cross the 200-inning chasm this year.