Erik Bedard is back on the 15-day disabled list this morning, clearing a roster spot for Jason Vargas to be called up to start today’s game.
“At this point, we’re not going to do an MRI,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “He’s on some other anti-inflammatories and then we’ll see. We’ll try to get him to throw in about three or four days. And we’ll see if that medication kicks in a little bit. If that kicks in, then there’s no need.”
Bedard is going to miss at least two starts.
Wakamatsu saw Bedard’s fastball topping out at 94 mph in the third and final inning worked by the lefty. He also saw “some good curveballs” but “very few pitches on a downhill plane.”;
That latter part, he said, could be a sign that something is wrong. When there’s inflammation or something bothering a pitcher, he added, the pitches tend to stay up.
“He’s trying to go out and do the best he can,” Wakamatsu said. “And I won’t ever question a player because I went through a similar situation where I had a tear in my elbow and they couldn’t find it on the MRI. But I knew there was pain in there.
“I know he’s trying to go out there and do the best he can. He just doesn’t feel like he can command the fastball. What we’re looking for at this point forward is, can we get him back on the field? And can we get him back on the field effectively and get some more starts out of him? That’s what we’re looking for.”
Bedard did get checked out by team medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan after the game. The team opted not to do another MRI. One reason is that Bedard already had one of those last month and the dye injected in his arm for that required that he sit out three days until it could dissipate.
Wakamatsu called an MRUI “a last resort” and said it’s normally something a pitcher gets done before a surgery. It may still come to that yet. But for now, the team will try to go the non-invasive route.
By the way, at the risk of stating the obvious, the does mean that Bedard won’t be traded by July 31. That was obvious yesterday, but technically, you can’t trade guys on the DL. Can he be traded by Aug. 31? Once again, it depends on him getting out there multiple times next month and showing teams he still has something to offer.
As for the possibility of gaining a compensatory draft pick should Bedard leave as a Type B free-agent this off-season, that also appears doubtful. The team would first have to offer Bedard arbitration/ If he accepted, he’d be a lock to earn at least the $8 million he’s being paid this year. And don’t forget, Bedard has an excellent ERA and and high striekout totals compared to his peers. If he went into arbitration and asked for $10 million, it’s quite possible he’d get it.
For those who want to keep Bedard in Seattle, the best bet now would seem to be to not offer him arbitration, let him become a free-agent and then seek out some kind of short-term, incentive-laden deal.
But we’re a long way from that discussion. Bedard hasn’t been healthy in two years. There’s no guarantee he’ll automatically be healthy in 2010. Unless he comes back strong in August, you’d have to think there’s at least one more surgery waiting for him down the road this winter.
By the way, I’m told Cliff Lee is definitely starting today for the Indians, so that three-way trade rumor from yesterday is almost certainly not going to come to fruition — at least not today.
CF Grady Sizemore
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
1B Ryan Garko 1B
3B Jhonny Peralta
DH Travis Hafner
LF Ben Francisco
2B Jamey Carroll
C Kelly Shoppach
LHP Cliff Lee
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
DH Mike Sweeney
CF Franklin Gutierrez
C Kenji Johjima
3B Jack Hannahan
LF Michael Saunders
SS Ronny Cedeno
LHP Jason Vargas