Pittsburgh Pirates: Will Erik Bedard Be the Ace of the Rotation?

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Pittsburgh Pirates: Will Erik Bedard Be the Ace of the Rotation?
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Erik Bedard Pirates Ace?

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in his article "Pirates make $4.5 million deal with left-hander Bedard" that according to industry sources the Pirates not only agreed to a one-year deal with Erik Bedard but that Nate McLouth also agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

When healthy, Bedard is a top of the rotation type pitcher. He supports a career record of 56-50 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.

Health has always been an issue with Bedard. In his eight seasons in the big leagues, he has never reached the 200 innings pitched milestone. He did throw 196.1 innings in 2006 while recording a 15-11 record with the Baltimore Orioles.

In 2009 he tore a labrum in his pitching shoulder and missed all of 2010. His return last season went well, he posted a 5-9 record with a 3.62 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He appeared healthy in his last start on September 27th, striking out six batters in 3.1 innings of work. Although, he did get hit around a bit, giving up three runs on five hits.

If he returns to his pre-torn labrum form, the Pirates can look for him to be their ace.

As for Nate McLouth, the Pirates expect for him to add to their outfield depth and contend for a corner outfield position. However, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com Jose Tabata and Alex Presley appear to be the front-runners.

In her article "McLouth returns to Pirates for 2012 season" she quoted Pirates manager Clint Hurdle with these comments about making Presley their third outfielder.

"As we sit here today, Alex has done everything we've asked him to do. He did nothing to think that he wouldn't be able to pull it off."

These two deals, no matter how they workout, show that the Pirates and general manager Neal Huntington are serious about making a strong run in 2012.

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