Erik Bedard has been pitching at Single-A for the Dodgers in the hopes of making it back to the majors at age 36, but the oft-injured left-hander announced his retirement rather than continue his comeback from a strained lat muscle.
Bedard pitched 11 seasons in the majors, starting out with the Orioles, going to the Mariners in the Adam Jones trade, and then spending time with the Rays, Pirates, Red Sox, and Astros in recent years.
He always racked up strikeouts, always struggled to consistently throw strikes, and always had trouble staying off the disabled list. Bedard finishes with a 3.99 ERA in 1,304 innings, striking out 1,246 and walking 533 while holding opponents to a .249 batting average.
His best season came in 2007 for the Orioles, when Bedard went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and 221 strikeouts in 182 innings at age 28. He topped 150 innings in a season just once more after that, in 2013 for the Astros.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.