Veteran left-hander Erik Bedard’s bid to win a spot on the Dodgers’ pitching staff ends with an injury: He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a strained back.
Bedard has played 11 seasons in the majors, but said earlier this spring that he’d be just fine spending some time at Triple-A if needed because he still enjoys pitching at age 36.
He was making his way back from shoulder surgery before this latest injury.
Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu has been sent back to Los Angeles to undergo a medical evaluation, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Also per Shaikin, manager Don Mattingly said that Ryu felt soreness in his left shoulder after playing catch on Sunday, and the lefty isn’t expected to be ready on Opening Day.
Ryu had a late start to the spring due to a minor back issue, so he has made only two starts thus far. He held the Padres scoreless over two innings on March 12, then allowed three runs (two earned) in three innings against the Rangers last Tuesday.
It’s unclear whether the Dodgers will put Ryu on the 15-day disabled list, though his medical evaluation should give them a better idea of what to do. The Dodgers could simply push his first scheduled start back, as the club has three off days in the first three weeks of the season. If Ryu needs a stint on the DL, Joe Wieland is currently the favorite to take his place, though Juan Nicasio and Erik Bedard are also contenders.
Erik Bedard is a 36-year-old veteran of 11 seasons and 1,300 innings in the big leagues who hasn’t pitched in the minors regularly since 2003, so how does he feel knowing that odds are the Dodgers will send him to Triple-A at the end of spring training?
Here’s what he told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles:
I know where I stand. It feels fine. The game’s still fun and I like playing baseball is, basically, what it comes down to.
Bedard signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers in mid-January to provide rotation depth, but since then they’ve added even more veteran pitchers trying to resurrect their careers and/or return from injuries.
Bedard hasn’t posted a sub-4.50 ERA since 2011 and is coming back from shoulder surgery, telling Saxon: “I used to throw hard. Now, not so hard.”
Next month we’ll probably find out how his age-36 raw stuff fares against Pacific Coast League hitters.