John Hickey, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, reports Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Erik Bedard (shoulder) is expected to land on the disabled list. He would be eligible to return in time for him to pitch July 20 or July 21. The team is expected to activate starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (ankle) from the disabled list to take Bedard's spot on the roster. Hernandez is due to start Friday, July 11, against the Kansas City Royals.
This move does not come as much of a surprise, as Bedard had already been shut down until after the All-Star break with tightness in his throwing shoulder. He has also been bothered by a sore hip and back spasms. He was removed from his most recent start Friday, July 4, despite only allowing one run in five innings.
Bedard has had a lackluster season after going 13-5 with a 3.17 ERA, a 1.09 and 221 strikeouts with the Baltimore Orioles in 2007. This season he is 6-4 with a 3.67 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched. He has not thrown more than 100 pitches in a start in more than a month.
Owners of Hernandez should be thrilled to have him return to their lineup after not pitching since June 23. However, fantasy owners might want to be cautious with him in his first start Friday. Because it will be his first appearance since coming off the DL, the team may limit his number of pitches. It's speculation, though, and it's tough to sit such a stud against the weak offense of the Royals.
Fantasy owners of Bedard have obviously been disappointed with his performance this season as well as his inability to stay healthy. His latest setback has to be concerning, as shoulder injuries often can lead to extended time on the sidelines, and Bedard can't seem to get over the injury bug. Manager Jim Riggleman has a tentative plan to start Bedard as the team's fourth starter after the All-Star break, when he would face the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Owners should monitor his progress closely during the All-Star break and might want to consider benching him for a start or two after the break. That's a tough matchup he would have, and right now it's uncertain he can make it deep into a game. The good news for owners is that Bedard felt better Saturday, July 5, and Riggleman said everything looks good. It appears the team just wants to rest him to prevent any serious injury to his pitching shoulder. For now, stash Bedard on a DL or a bench spot and continue to monitor his status.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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