As the Los Angeles Dodgers entered the offseason with a need for starting pitcher, deep pockets and several marquee names available, the club was expected to be in the running, if not the favorite for any of Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields.
The Dodgers opted against signing any and instead filled the rotation with Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, and several other pitchers, with some on Minor League deals. That includes Erik Bedard, who made two starts for the Dodgers this spring, including the club’s first game.
Bedard’s most recent outing was Friday in San Antonio for the first game of Big League Weekend and it was cut short after he felt some discomfort. He was scheduled for an MRI and according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, is expected to miss four to six weeks:
Erik Bedard expected to miss four to six weeks with strain of the same back muscle that shelved Clayton Kershaw for five weeks last year.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 23, 2015
When signed, Bedard figured to an option for the Minors, which was something he was accepting of, while also allowing he could just as easily find his way to the Majors if injuries dictated it. That appeared to be the case for Bedard as Hyun-Jin Ryu is likely to begin the regular season on the disabled list.
Had he remained healthy, Bedard may have been a candidate for a spot-start, though manager Don Mattingly said Monday he’s leaning toward using a bullpen game when a fifth starter is first need — either April 13 or 14.
Bedard was drafted in the sixth round by the Baltimore Orioles in 1999 and made his Major League debut three years later; however, only appearing in two games. In 2004, the left-hander went 6-10 with a 4.59 ERA in 27 games with the Orioles (26 starts).
Bedard’s career has been one marred by injury, as he’s only managed to make 119 starts since winning 13 games in 2007 — his final season with the Orioles. That same year, he finished fifth in Cy Young voting.
Dodgers Spring Training: Mike Bolsinger