BRADENTON — Erik Bedard signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates in December, adding a lefty to the rotation, and depth to the pitching staff. Over the off-season, Bedard has been working hard to be healthy and strong heading into the 2012 season.
“Just the normal stuff: workout the legs, the upper body, the whole body thing, and get your arm strong,” Bedard said of his workouts. “That’s the basic thing. Have a good throwing program and get into spring with a strong arm.
Since the pitchers and catchers first official workout six days ago, Bedard has thrown several bullpens. One to catcher Michael McKenry, who said he was impressed by what he saw. McKenry said Bedard was in the zone almost the whole time.
Yesterday, Bedard threw his first live batting practice to hitters and said it went well.
“It’s been going good,” Bedard said. “It’s still early in the spring, so you take it easy, just try to keep the ball down and throw strikes.”
Bedard has dealt with injuries over the past several seasons. He missed the entire 2010 season recovering from left shoulder surgery. Between 2008-09, Bedard was limited to a combined 164.0 innings with Seattle. Bedard has battled knee and shoulder injuries, but when healthy, has been very good. In 2007, he posted a 3.16 ERA over 182.0 innings with 57 walks and 221 strikeouts — which ranked third in the American League. During that season, Bedard won a career-high 15 games and started in a career-high 33 games.
In 16 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2011, Bedard posted a 3.45 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox at the trade deadline. Over parts of eight seasons in the Majors, Bedard has a career 3.70 ERA.
Bedard said he doesn’t set goals for spring training, but just wants to “stay healthy, and keep the ball down.”