Fantasy Notes: Erik Bedard Comes of Age
July 24, 2006 | | comment on this post
Today, we check in with Fantasy tidbits about Erik Bedard, Jon Garland, Richie Sexson and others…
- When Leo Mazzone took over in Baltimore as pitching coach, there was much excitement over what he could do for some of the young Orioles’ starters, specifically Daniel Cabrera and Erik Bedard. Well, Cabrera was rancid and had to be demoted 10 days ago. Bedard also struggled at the outset, and his ERA was pretty unsightly (almost 6.00) after getting shelled in a June 1 start. Since then, however, the young Canadian southpaw has been among the top pitchers in all of baseball. In nine starts covering 60 IP, Bedard has given up just 40 hits and 16 walks while striking out 65 and recording a 1.95 ERA. He’s gone 7-1 over that stretch (including winning his past seven starts) and suddenly has a dozen wins, doubling his previous career best, and ranking fourth in the American League. Overall, Bedard has now lowered his ERA to 3.94 and looks to be one of the best bets for the second half, but his recent streak has rendered him unavailable in basically any kind of league.
- Another starter that’s turning around his season of late is Jon Garland. His ERA was 6.19 just over six weeks ago, but he hasn’t lost since (6-0) and has won four straight starts, not giving up more than two earned runs in any of them. Garland’s WHIP and ERA are starting to get under control, and don’t look now, but he’s reached double digits in wins for the fifth straight year. He’s probably unowned in any mid-size or smaller mixed leagues so check your waiver wire as Garland is a great bet down the stretch.
- The real Richie Sexson is beginning to show himself. He smoked eight homers and drove in 26 runs last month and is slugging almost .550 with another six homers so far in July. His BA is even starting to rise from the ashes. We’d expect Sexson to be good for 15 to 20 more home runs this season, and he should claw his way back close to .250 before season’s end.
- Is anyone else out there curious to see what Ryan Church could do with 500 at-bats? Sunday he hit his fifth homer of the year — in just 69 at-bats. That’s a 36-HR pace for 500 at-bats. The problem, of course, is that Church doesn’t have a prayer against southpaws, as evidenced by a 490 OPS against them. He’s now 27, and we can’t seem him getting anything approximating full-time play until he learns to hit lefties.