Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Exit Music (For A Player): Erik Bedard

We're taking a look at the Astros who are still on the 40-Man Roster as part of our off-season Exit Music (For A Player) recap of 2013. Read the (small, for now) archive here. Today we take on Erik Bedard.

Acquired: Signed as a free agent, January 2013

32 appearances / 26 starts - 151IP.
ERA: 4.59; FIP: 4.38; xFIP: 4.61
1.48 WHIP. 88 ERA+
Baseball-Reference WAR: 0.9; FanGraphs WAR: 1.4
K/9: 8.23; BB/9: 4.47
2013 Salary: $1.15m

Erik Bedard spawned not just one nickname, but two this season: Good Bedard was The Great Bedardini, while Bad Bedard was simply Erik Bederp. That's the kind of season he had. When he was bad, he was really bad. When he was good, he was probably just alright. Bedard averaged just over 5IP per start (and just under 3IP per relief appearance). He got 18+ outs in 11 of his 26 starts, and 21+ outs in three of those starts. He recorded 15 or fewer outs in 14 of his 26 starts. As a result, and because the Astros averaged 3.20 runs of support in his starts (the Astros scored two or fewer runs in 13 of his 26 starts) the Astros were 6-20 when Bedard took the mound as a starter.

Bedard's problem was his efficiency, in that he wasn't very efficient. He threw 62.2% of his pitches for strikes - pitchers across MLB threw strikes 63.6% of the time in 2013. That doesn't seem like a large difference in percentage, but when you think of every single pitcher in baseball (over 719,000 pitches), it's not insignificant. Bedard faced 574 batters in 2013, and the count was worked full in 117 of those plate appearances.

High-Water Mark:
July 20 vs. Seattle. Bedard threw 6.1IP, 0H/1ER, 10K:5BB. But when Bo Porter came out to check on him in the 7th, he gave the ball to Porter.

What Went Well
*Among the five pitchers who got more than 20 starts for the Astros in 2013 (Keuchel, Harrell, Lyles, Norris, and Bedard), Bedard actually did give up the lowest hits/9 (8.9), and posted the highest K/9 (8.2).
*Bedard was able to chew up some innings, no matter how inefficient he was. Only Dallas Keuchel and Lucas Harrell threw more innings than Bedard
*At Minute Maid, Bedard allowed a .212/.309/.337 line, with a 3.04 ERA/1.23 WHIP in 74IP.

What Didn't
*The Walks. 96 pitchers threw at least 150IP in MLB this season. Bedard's 4.47 BB/9 was the fourth-worst (Hint: Harrell had the highest BB/9). If Bedard threw a first-pitch ball, opponents went on to post a .946 OPS. The AL average OPS when getting a 1-0 count is .820.
*While Bedard's home splits were quite nice, the road splits were downright ugly: 6.08 ERA/1.73 WHIP, and 52 earned runs and 40 walks in 77IP.
*For some reason, the bottom of the order really gave Bedard trouble. 7-8-9 hitters posted a .301/.401/.534 line against Bedard, for a .935 OPS on a .360 BABIP.

2014: Free Agent
2014 Outlook: It'll be interesting to see if Bedard comes back in 2014 with the Astros, or if he gets a shot with another team. If he wants to start, I could see the Astros moving on. If he doesn't mind pitching in long relief and making some spot starts, I could see the Astros bringing him back.