Erik Bedard wasn’t going to make his next start anyway. His turn would’ve come up on Sept. 1, with the expanded rosters, and one of the callups from Indianapolis — Kyle McPherson or Jeff Locke — would have taken the ball that day in Milwaukee.
So the only notable thing about his release was the timing: It clears him from the August roster, and gives the Pirates the chance to add someone else who would be eligible for postseason play.
Sure, right now that may seem like a pipe dream. People right now think the Pirates’ soundtrack consists of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Slip Sliding Away.” But that playoff shot is still only a modest streak away. No way Bedard was going to get a postseason start. So why burn a roster spot on hm?
Speaking of burning … Bedard’s reactions to his mound meltdowns may have had as much to do with his release as the meltdowns themselves.
Reporters were bemused by Bedard’s nonchalant dismissal of terrible outings. Despite manager Clint Hurdle’s frequent defense of the left-hander as a far fiercer competitor inside than what he shows on the outside, there is every indication he took the same cavalier attitude with management as he did with media.
That can get old quickly. Well, in five months, for sure.
The postscript of Bedard’s last start, in Sunday’s 7-0 loss to the Brewers, was typical.
The lefty felt the curve ball on which Carlos Gomez had hit a go-ahead three-run homer was well-located, low enough that “if he doesn’t swing, it hits the dirt.”
A few minutes earlier, Hurdle had said the breaking pitch “was up, right in the path of his swing.”
If you’re the manager and your pitcher says such contradictory things, it will drive you up the wall. At some point, it helps you say, “Enough.” Especially when the package includes 14 losses and a 5.01 ERA.