Pirates Name Bedard Opening Day Starter

Image Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. — After the Pirates 8-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at McKechnie Field, Manager Clint Hurdle announced that left-hander Erik Bedard will be the Opening Day starter on April 5 at PNC Park against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hurdle also said that Jeff Karstens will start game two, James McDonald game three, and Kevin Correia will get the first start on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The decision on the opening day starter was shuffled after right-hander A.J. Burnett had to undergo right eye surgery to repair the fractured orbital bone in his right eye.

“We were planning on giving the ball to A.J. to start the season,” Hurdle said.

“We tried to look at the first two weeks and add on the next month. We had conversation earlier about Jeff and Erik, and how we’d match up better. Throughout the month, the statistical analysis, some history, and other things, we felt our strongest rotation coming out of the chute would fall this way,” Hurdle said.

Bedard, 33, will make his third career Opening Day start. He also got Opening Day nod’s in 2008 with the Seattle Mariners, and the Baltimore Orioles in 2007. The lefty signed a one-year deal with the Pirates on December 7 of 2011 after posting a 3.62 ERA combined with the Boston Red Sox and Mariners last season.

“He’s done this before,” Hurdle said. “It wont be his first opening day start. That puts Jeff in a good position. I think the counter balance of the three guys, the three different looks right out of the chute. No similar type pitchers.”

Correia, 31, posted a 10-3 record with a 2.64 ERA on the road last season with the Pirates. That was compared to a 7.71 ERA at PNC Park over 12 starts.

“Then Correia, try to build on some of the momentum that he established last year on the road,” Hurdle said.

With two off days to start the Pirates season, which fall on April 6 and 9, the club won’t technically need a fifth starter until April 15th.

Right-hander Charlie Morton, who had offseason surgery on his left hip, is continuing to move forward. He is scheduled to make his third Grapefruit League start of the spring on Friday at McKechnie Field. Morton pitched three innings during his last start on Sunday.

“We’re going to get Charlie out there again and see how he shows up,” Hurdle said. “Just to evaluate him a little bit more, where he is. That will be coming here shortly.”

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Pirates Lose 8-6, to Rays in See-Saw Game

Next Story »

Prospect Notebook: Alderson Touches 93 MPH

Latest Analysis

  • Billy Roth is the top prospect in Bristol this year.

    Another Projectable Prep Pitcher Sees An Increase in His Velocity

    6 hours ago

    When discussing the best Pittsburgh Pirates draft under Neal Huntington, the 2011 group has to be at the top of the list. It features Gerrit Cole, Tyler ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    1 day ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    3 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    4 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    5 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    6 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    2 weeks ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More