Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bedard: A Seattle Perspective

By Dustin Shires

Hey Bleeding Blue and Teal fans, this is my intro-post. I'm a huge, huge Mariners fan hailing from Seattle. I hope you all enjoy what I'll be writing!

Growing up in Seattle, and living 15 minutes from Safeco Field, I've always been able to watch the power hitters that Seattle has had in my lifetime. I have been able to experience the dominance of Ken Griffey Jr., the sweet, consistent swing of Edgar Martinez, the mash of Jay Buhner, and the all-around game of Alex Rodriguez. However, rarely have I been able to look at the rotation and say, "That is our ace!" The first clear-cut ace the Mariners brought in, in my lifetime, is easily Randy Johnson. The man pitched in Kingdome, which is more comparable to a crackerjack box, and absolutely dominated a sturdy AL West. Randy Johnson went a combined 84-30 (W-L) from 1993-1998, while starting 147 games in that span. Also, in 36 of those starts, he went the distance. What am I trying to say? That Johnson was the last starter that the Mariners had that when he took the mound, we expected to win the game, every time. Now, you could make the argument that Freddy Garcia was this ace when he was with Seattle, but I don't think so. I believe Johnson was the last true ace the Mariners staff had.

If this deal goes through, we could be receiving Erik Bedard, an ace. Now am I saying that Bedard compares to Randy Johnson? In no way. However, I am much more comfortable calling Erik Bedard the ace of the Mariners' staff than I am calling King Felix the ace. Bedard put up 13-5 (W-L) in a hitter dominated park, hitter dominated division, heck, in a hitter dominant league. I would love to see what Bedard could do in Safeco, in a less competitive division, in the SafeCave that he would call home.

Trading Jones, Sherrill, Triunfel and Tillman honestly isn't a horrible deal. Jones, although dubbed the "Savior of the Mariners," hasn't lived up to anything, at all. Triunfel has plenty of time to flop, and might not see the MLB until 2010 or 2011, maybe at the earliest. He's only 17 and I'm not comfortable holding onto that when he would have to undergo a position change (he's a shortstop), and he has infinite time to underdevelop. Tillman, although dubbed the best pitching prospect in the organization, hasn't really done anything spectacular either. His numbers don't tell me that he's going to be good. Felix dominated at that level, this guy is struggling to win 40% of his games (which he isn't).

My only objection to the trade would be Sherrill, and it isn't much of an objection, honestly. While he was the most successful of the Mariners relievers, he is 30. We have plenty of younger pitchers to fill our bullpen, and I will highlight the lefties. Ages given are on Opening Day.

  • Eric O'Flaherty will be 23.
  • Brandon Morrow will be 23.
  • Ryan-Rowland Smith will be 25.
  • Mark Lowe will be 24.
  • Jake Woods will be 26.

While these are only a few of the members of the bullpen, 4 of them will be given Opening Day spots, theirs to lose, and Woods could be a fixture later on in the season. [Er-Bed]

Bottom line, to get Bedard, the future Mariners ace, we wouldn't be giving up too much at all. We would be able to keep Balentien, Morrow and Clement, who are all huge fixtures in the Mariners future. While we might only have 2 years of Bedard, it would be two years of successful pitching, and more consistency from the top of our rotation. If not re-signed, okay cool, we have given Morrow two years to work on becoming a successful starter. I see no problem with this. Who knows, if he is successful in Safeco, maybe he'll want to re-sign?


Anonymous said...

Hey ,I couldnt agree with you more,I hear all this whining about losing Jones and company for Bedard but man this seems like a great oppurtunity to aquire an ace for once.I say lets pull the trigger on this deal and see what happens.

gej said...

You lost me when the only stat you used to measure a pitcher's effectiveness was his win-loss record.

Dustin Shires said...

You want me to throw in more? That wasn't the only stat I was planning on using, but I thought that the win-loss ratio was far and away the stat that showed his dominance.

Only once did Randy Johnson even pitch a full 34 starts in that span. I'll round it off at 5 years pitched, which is about anywhere between 160-170 games started. However, he was a good 20 starts short, and yet still put up numbers that are incredibly impressive.

He basically averaged a record of 17-6 in that span. Now, to bring into perspective how dominating that is, let's say that half of those games were pitched at home. The Kingdome was known as a pitchers nightmare. I mean, come on, it was far and away the best hitters park due to small dimensions and warm air, which led to mammoth home runs, early and often.

In that span, he also averaged over 7 innings per start.

His highest ERA in that span was 4.33, at the time he was traded. However, from 1993-1997 his ERA was never above 3.77 in any given season. That basically says, in theory, he rarely gave up 4 earned runs.

In that span he pitched 1076 innings, and struck out 1395 batters. Want more dominance?

To go with those 1395 strike outs, he only walked 398 batters. That's a 3.5 K/BB ratio. The average this past season (2007) was 2.03 K/BB

Just comment back if you want more...

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Bedards other numbers from last year. If I remember correctly Bedard was one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game last year. What ydo you have on that?

Dustin Shires said...

In 2007, Bedard started 28 games, pitching 182 innings. He struck out 221 batters. Also, he only walked 57. That is almost a 4-1 ratio, K-BB.

The only people who struck out more batters were Jake Peavy, Scott Kazmir, and Johan Santana, and all of those pitchers put up at least 206 innings.

The stat that I love to see when looking at wins is the run support. Of all the pitchers who won at least 13 games, 4 of them got lower than Bedard's 4.60 runs per game.

Brian said...

I really really hope the Bavasi can get this deal done...The reward we could get from Bedard for atleast the next two seasons is well worth what we are giving up...Simply put, pitching and defense win games and the Mariners will have a good rotation and decent defense to go along with a sufficient offense that should allow them to compete next year...

J-Red said...

I'm an Orioles fan. Bedard is probably good for 15+ wins and 200+ strikeouts for the next 5 years.

Yet, we can't seem to find a buyer. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

If you do acquire Bedard, and the M's win. I think you'd have a real good chance at resigning him. I think Bedard will really like it out here in Seattle. As an O's fan I'm hoping this trade does go down because I get excited about Adam Jones. But, I also know that Bedard WILL NOT resign with Baltimore. I think there is a good chance he will with Seattle - although it would probably have to get done before he hits free agency in 09.

Also, Bedard was way out in front as the MLB K leader prior to his oblique strain late in the year. He became the pitcher he is now after he mastered his Santana-esque change-up. Durability is, obviously, the issue, but his recent injury issues (sprained knee, strained oblique) are a bit flukey.

we'll see

Anonymous said...

What ever happeded to Jake woods?

Anonymous said...

Jake Woods, simply put, has sucked. I don't know how much of a big league career he has ahead of him except for a 4-5 starter or permanent long man unless he finds a way to become more effective... 6.91 ERA last year in Tacoma.. OUCH