Veteran left-hander Erik Bedard will not be taking another turn in the Astros’ starting rotation.
According to beat writer Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Astros have demoted Bedard to the bullpen and will name a new starting pitcher later this week. Bedard had allowed 24 hits, 12 walks and 17 earned runs in 18 2/3 innings of work this season for an 8.20 ERA and 1.93 WHIP. He didn’t make it beyond the fourth inning in any of his five starts.
The 34-year-old southpaw signed a minor league contract with Houston in late January. If he can’t get himself right in the bullpen, the next step will probably have to be an outright release.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.