On-Base Perception

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Erik Bedard makes sense for Yankees

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Erik Bedard pitches during

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Erik Bedard pitches during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. (Aug. 26, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Erik Bedard has been thrown overboard by the Pirates.

The lefty was 7-14 with a 5.01 ERA before being released by Pittsburgh on Tuesday. He pitches with his left hand and still has a pulse, so chances are he'll get picked up by someone. But should that someone be the Yankees?

Despite his 5.01 ERA, Bedard has a 4.07 FIP, an advanced statistic that measures what a player's ERA should be given factors he can control (strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches, home runs) and assuming a league-average batting average on balls in play. For comparison, CC Sabathia has a 3.31 FIP, Hiroki Kuroda has a 3.76 FIP, Ivan Nova has a 4.54 FIP, Phil Hughes has a 4.70 FIP, Freddy Garcia has a 4.47 FIP and David Phelps has a 4.22 FIP.

Bedard would instantly become the third-best starter in the rotation.

His strikeout per nine innings rate (8.45) is right around his career rate of 8.72, while his walk rate (4.01) is a little higher than his 3.58 career rate. But Bedard generates ground balls (43.3 percent) and his fastball still sits at 89.3 mph, which will get the job done.

Though he pitched in the National League this season, he's been an American League pitcher most of his career, spending 2002-2007 with the Orioles before pitching for the Mariners from 2008-2011. He was 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA in eight starts for the Red Sox late last season.

Given injuries to Nova and Pettitte, given Hughes' inconsistent performance and given the fact that Phelps or Garcia could be counted on to make a postseason start at this point, Bedard might not be a bad insurance policy.

The Yankees picked up Derek Lowe with the same thought, and he's pitched well out of the bullpen. It surely wouldn't hurt the Yankees any—especially with rosters expanding in a few days—to give him a shot. At best he becomes a rotation option. At worst he's relegated to mop-up duty in September.

Tags: Erik Bedard , Yankees

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