AP Photo/John Froschauer
Which Erik Bedard performance do you want to believe: his two-hit outing over seven innings Wednesday night against the Red Sox, or the nine earned runs he allowed the start before that?
Bedard was drafted as a top-10 pitcher, and while he has the ability to produce numbers worthy of the selection, I think he's a sell-high guy. For every dominating performance -- and make no mistake, he befuddled the Red Sox, fanning eight hitters before turning things over to the bullpen -- there's a not-so-great outing coming. Looking at his May starts, he was brutal in two of them, both on the road, and he has yet to show consistency. His home ERA for the season is 1.34, and his road ERA is 8.84. Et tu, Ervin Santana and Wandy Rodriguez? Say it isn't so!
The case also can be made that Bedard is a prime buy-low option, because few pitchers can match his strikeout rate, but I think the negatives outweigh the positives here, and your window of opportunity to move this quasi-ace is until he starts again. The Mariners are bad -- the last American League team to reach 20 wins, thanks to Wednesday's game -- with a sputtering offense, and Bedard hasn't exactly been the picture of health. His 2007 was magnificent, but he remains a guy who never has reached 200 innings pitched.
What was the difference in Bedard between his most recent start and his career-worst outing against the Yankees last week? Bedard's stuff hasn't been in question this season, but his location and health have. He already has served one disabled-list stint, but even when he's been on the mound, he's had trouble putting the ball where he wants it. He has allowed eight home runs, putting him on a career-worst pace, and left-handed hitters have drawn 10 walks against him while striking out only six times. Bedard, a lefty, was more effective against right-handed hitters in 2007, but not to this level.
Fantasy baseball is about value, and Bedard's 2007, which stands far above any of his other seasons, remains on owners' minds. His ERA is 4.08 and his strikeout rate is fine; it's a perfect time to flip him for a big bat and lesser pitcher. Time's a wasting, as Bedard is scheduled to face the Red Sox again next weekend in Boston, and his career ERA at Fenway Park is 8.10. You know what to do.
Gavin Floyd earned the win against the Indians, allowing four earned runs in six innings, but most impressive was his seven strikeouts against no walks. Floyd entered the game with a very sketchy 27 walks versus 25 strikeouts, screaming sell high. This was a nice change. ... Jake Westbrook was the opposing starter, and he delivered a decent performance coming off the DL, throwing five innings. His season ERA is 3.12. ... Tampa Bay might or might not have lost closer Troy Percival to a hamstring problem. Percival fell off the mound in the ninth inning with what appeared to be a foot injury, then revealed his hammy had been a problem for a week. An MRI is scheduled, but there's no word yet on a DL stint. It was interesting to see Dan Wheeler get the final out for the save, rather than Al Reyes, likely a harbinger should Percival miss significant time. Wheeler has pitched better than Reyes and hasn't already served a DL stint for a sore shoulder. ... Joba Chamberlain threw "only" 28 pitches, bridging the gap between Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera in the Yankees' win. Was that enough to get Chamberlain ready for a Monday or Tuesday start next week? Ian Kennedy was officially placed on the DL, so someone has to make the start. Don't be surprised if Chamberlain is on a pitch count of about 60 next week, which might not make him an attractive fantasy option. ... Jason Giambi won't help your batting average, but he has homered in three of his past four games and has 11 for the season. There's no reason he can't reach 30 homers. ... The Phillies swept aside the Rockies in three straight, scoring 33 runs in the process. Chase Utley hit his 17th home run, a record for a second baseman through May. The record previously was held by Alfonso Soriano and noted power hitter Damion Easley. ... Rockies rookie Greg Reynolds didn't stabilize his rotation spot, as he walked eight and fanned nobody in 5 2/3 erratic innings. ... Jay Bruce finally made an out! He did get another hit, walk twice and steal his second base in as many days. While he gets all the attention, Jerry Hairston Jr. continues to make his mark at shortstop, registering three more hits and stealing his ninth base. ... Tom Gorzelanny didn't get out of the first inning, however, and his season ERA stands at 7.38. ... Cody Ross hit a pair of home runs for the Marlins, but he's hitting barely .200. Eight of Ross' past nine hits have gone over the fence. ... Over the past week, Salomon Torres has a win and three saves and has allowed one baserunner in four innings. Eric Gagne, take your time coming back, if at all. ... Joakim Soria owners are wondering why their guy didn't get a chance to close Wednesday's win for Zack Greinke. He was unavailable after tossing two innings the night before, so Ramon Ramirez and Joel Peralta blew the game. ... Delmon Young, still without a home run this season, walked twice, so at least he's trying to get on base. Young does have six walks in his past five games, bringing his season total to a whopping 17. ... Giants catcher Bengie Molina can't be stopped. He had three hits and two RBIs Wednesday, making it five straight multi-RBI games and seven straight multi-hit performances. ... Justin Upton doubled in two runs, his first extra-base hit since May 15 and first two-bagger since May 2. ... Joe Saunders lost for the second time this season, allowing a season-worst five runs. His ERA jumped to 2.76. With a low K rate (34 K's in 75 innings pitched), be careful with him going forward. ... Washington catcher Jesus Flores hit a grand slam off San Diego's Shawn Estes and now sports a .344 batting average and 14 RBIs in only 19 games. Paul Lo Duca might not have a starting job when he gets off the DL or could be trade bait. ... Yuniesky Betancourt provided the lone run of Bedard's 1-0 win over the Red Sox. The last time Boston lost a 1-0 game when the opposing team's No. 9 hitter homered was 1959. Don't get excited about Betancourt. He still hasn't drawn a walk in May.
Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
He prevailed in a pitchers' duel against Rich Harden by tying his season high with nine K's and allowing just one run over eight innings as he won his third straight decision.
Doug Davis, Diamondbacks
Davis' first home start after thyroid cancer surgery didn't go as well as his initial return to the rotation, as he allowed six runs and nine hits over five innings in a loss to the Giants.
"I'm sorry, Royals fans. I know you're going to hate me for saying this. But while the franchise has showed a few signs of life since Dayton Moore took over as GM, this organization is now indisputably the worst in the American League. They have two good pitchers (Joakim Soria and Zack Greinke) and one good hitter (Alex Gordon) and very, very little talent in the farm system. I'm not sure how one gets from here to respectability in the foreseeable future."
-- Rob Neyer Full Story
• Toronto catcher Gregg Zaun was placed on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, meaning Rod Barajas takes over the starting role. Curtis Thigpen was called up from Triple-A Syracuse to help. Zaun has value in OBP leagues, but that's about it. Barajas has double-digit power.
• Joel Pineiro went on the disabled list with a groin injury. However, Pineiro might miss just the minimum amount of time, so be wary of dropping someone important to sign Cardinals rotation replacement Mike Parisi.
• Cha Seung Baek wasn't getting the chance to start games in Seattle, and he still won't after he was traded to the Padres for reliever Jared Wells. Neither is likely to have much of a fantasy effect, although Baek has had moments as a starter and Petco Park is friendly.
• Travis Buck seems ready for promotion to the A's, as he's hitting .586 with three stolen bases over his past eight games for Triple-A Sacramento. Buck originally was Oakland's leadoff hitter, but he hit .154 in 15 games before shin splints forced him to the DL.