Bedard makes his Sox debut tonight
August, 4, 2011
What should we expect out of lefty Erik Bedard tonight at Fenway as he makes his Red Sox debut against the Indians?
ESPN baseball analyst Chris Singleton, for one, doesn’t expect big things from Boston’s newest acquisition, whom he says is still in the process of recovering from a knee injury that landed him on the DL for a month. In his first start off the injury just before the deadline, Bedard gave up 5 runs in 1 1/3 innings for the Mariners.
"His knee was not 100 percent healthy when he made that last start,” Singleton says in the Baseball Tonight video above. “Because [the Mariners] wanted to trade him they needed to get him back on the mound. So he's still in the rehab process.
“He needs to get stronger, but unfortunately for the Red Sox you can’t afford to have another John Lackey, a guy that goes 4 or 5 innings and then you're taxing the bullpen. ...
“I'm not sure about Erik Bedard in Boston. We'll see with his start tonight. He's a guy that's capable -- he had a nice little run with Seattle this year, looking like his old form -- but with all the injuries he'd had, he's really a wild card."
That run Singleton was talking about was a two-month stretch just before his knee injury in which he was one of the league's most dominant pitchers, running off an 8-3 record in 11 starts with a 1.77 ERA, a .191 batting average against, 68 strikeouts and 15 walks in 71 1/3 innings.
Manager Terry Francona said Bedard will be on a pitch count tonight, limited to about 75-80 pitches.
“He’ll be on a pitch limit Thursday, and we’re going to try to ramp him up to the point where, we obviously need to win games, but we also need to look at the big picture,” said Francona. “We want him to be at his best coming into September and hopefully moving forward.”
What do you expect out of Bedard tonight? What about in the big picture? Can he be the No. 3 starter for this team? Share your thoughts in the comments section.