As it turns out, perhaps those designs were shared by those inside the Pirates’ front office, as it is being reported Tuesday morning that Bedard has been released.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s Dejan Kovacevic, the team has cut ties with the 33-year-old lefthander after a run of three straight below-average starts. Including his rocky 4 2/3 innings in the Pirates’ 7-0 loss to Milwaukee Sunday, Bedard has surrendered 16 runs in his last 14 1/3 innings pitched.
Strangely, this recent subpar run followed a stretch of four starts in which Bedard gave up one earned run or fewer three times. He was bombed in Chicago July 30 when the Cubs struck for eight runs, but he appeared to regain his equilibrium with seven shutout frames against the Diamondbacks August 6.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Canadian-born veteran trended severely downward from there, ultimately triggering a move of this drastic nature. Kovacevic thinks Kevin Correia may be re-inserted into the Pirates rotation, while David Todd at Bucs Dugout sees Triple-A standouts Jeff Locke and Chris Leroux as viable options with higher ceilings than the alternatives on the current major-league club.
Personally, I’d love to see Locke or Leroux get a look as we enter September. Even after Monday’s loss, the Pirates are three games behind St. Louis for the NL’s second wild-card spot. If they can salvage at least a win from the current series, a push for the playoffs is still feasible with four weeks remaining in the season.
Not only can Locke and/or Leroux outperform what Bedard was throwing out there, but they can get valuable big-league experience at the same time. With Triple-A Indianapolis’ season coming to an end soon, getting either one of them into the rotation would be beneficial for both the present and the future.