Erik Bedard gets mixed reviews for first start since mid-2009

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After missing the second half of 2009 and all of 2010 following shoulder surgery Erik Bedard returned to the mound last night against the Rangers and took a loss, allowing five runs in five innings.

Bedard served up homers to Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus, but two of the runs were unearned thanks to an Ichiro Suzuki error in right field and he allowed just two more hits along with the long balls while throwing 60 of 95 pitches for strikes against a red hot lineup.

It certainly wasn’t an impressive outing, but after 20 months on the sidelines it was decent enough to think Bedard can actually contribute positively this season if he remains healthy. Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner praised Bedard’s curveball and is optimistic that it can still be a knockout pitch if the oft-injured left-hander can throw his fastball for strikes consistently. His last win came on July 7, 2009.

Tampa Bay Rays trade Alex Colome, Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners

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The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.

Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.

Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.

The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.