Erik Bedard will throw a baseball again today, but it’s almost certain the left-hander won’t make another start for the Mariners this season – and that troubles both the man and the team.
No, in this lost season the Mariners aren’t trying to get another win from their opening day starter. What they needed, and Bedard was working toward, was a game against live hitters where everyone could see that he was healthy heading into the off-season.
The chances of getting that are nil, now.
Playing catch with a variety of intensities and distances, Bedard had made progress, then suffered a setback – pain in his left shoulder, which landed him on the disabled list early in July.
Now he’s throwing again, but hasn’t been on a mound in close to two months.
The Mariners are hoping to send Bedard to their Instructional League camp in Arizona to watch him pitch. Bedard isn’t wild about that idea, saying if he isn’t ready to pitch by end of the season, it might be best to just let him go home and rest the shoulder for a few months.
That’s understandable. He’s been trying to rehab the shoulder since early July, and isn’t much closer to pithing today than he was a month ago.
For the Mariners, however, seeing a healthy Bedard would help them in determining what the team must do this off-season. If he’s healthy, Bedard is the team’s No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez.
If he’s not, that’s one more major issue that Seattle’s general manager – whoever that may be – will have to deal with.
Bedard is doing whatever is asked of him, but neither he nor the team know whether the shoulder will hold up to game-situation pitching. It’s still possible, in fact, that the man acquired from Baltimore last off-season may need surgery.
Neither Bedard nor the team want that, so they continue to try and build arm and shoulder strength gradually. Today, Bedard will throw again.
No one is certain when he’ll pitch next.