It sure sounded like this situation was headed this way, but now we have confirmation. The Mariners announced Tuesday that Erik Bedard will undergo shoulder surgery Friday, according to Jim Street of MLB.com.
The surgery will be performed by Mariners team physician Edward Khalfayan and Dr. Lewis Yocum, according to the team. Yocum performed the previous two operations on Bedard.
It’s hard to call it season-ending surgery since Bedard’s season never officially got off the ground. Working his way back from surgery to repair a torn labrum last August, the closest Bedard got to the big leagues this season was a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma. He was scheduled to make his season debut last month before his shoulder started barking again.
It wasn’t too long ago that Bedard was considered one of the best left-handed starters in the game, however he has made a grand total of 30 starts since the start of the 2008 season. Now he’ll be 32 years old next March, and suddenly, the odds are increasingly stacked against him making another 30 starts in his career.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.