The Boston Red Sox picked up exactly what they needed Sunday night just before the trade deadline, in left handed pitcher Erik Bedard. In a deal that sent four minor league prospects elsewhere, including star Portland Sea Dogs' pitcher Stephen Fife who finds himself a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now Erik Bedard gets his opportunity to show Boston Red Sox fans that he was worth some of their top notch prospects.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona has given Bedard the green light to make his debut in the Red Sox uniform Thursday night against the Cleveland Indians. Francona told MLB.com that he is “looking forward to getting him going.”
Bedard should be just as excited to take the mound against the Indians, a team who has struggled to produce a solid offense as of late. Cleveland is hitting just .246 this season at the plate, and have had trouble scoring runs throughout the season, only increasing their offensive woes.
Boston Red Sox fans, a tough crowd to please, will expect Bedard to throw on cruise control and breeze through the struggling Indians squad.
Bedard has the numbers to back up this expectation. Despite a record of 4-7 this season, his ERA is just a 3.45 and is recording on average, 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
The low number in the wins column can be attributed to playing for a offensively horrendous Seattle Mariners team, a club that seems to sabotage starting pitchers by leaving runners on base and providing a meager amount of hits.
Just in case Bedard doesn't live up to the hype though, the Boston Red Sox are prepared. According to MLB.com, young gun Andrew Miller will be available in the bullpen for relief work if need be.
Bedard's new teammates don't seem all that concerned though. Boston Red Sox third basemen, Kevin Youkilis told MLB.com, “He's nasty. I think he owns me. When he was pitching against us, when he was healthy, I don't know if we beat him -- he beat up on us. He's good. He has a great slider. When he's healthy and he locates pitches, he's a pretty remarkable pitcher."
That same control will have to come out Thursday night against the Cleveland Indians. Despite just being a supplement to the Boston Red Sox's steadily growing starting pitching staff, Erik Bedard will need to show only his very best to impress the home crowd Thursday night in Fenway Park.