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Community Projection '07: Erik Bedard

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Yup, it's that time of year again, a time when our eyes turn to projecting the season for the Baltimore Orioles.

Last year, we did fairly well on most of the hitters, but our expectations for the pitchers were just brutally off, in that we seemed to expect them all to be pretty decent or better. Didn't happen. Only Bedard and Benson didn't fall short among the starters. But who expected Bruce Chen to go 0-7, or for Cabrera's control to get worse?

But that's the beauty of it all. Who the hell knows anything? This year, we'll start with our ace.

Bedard finally had the breakthrough season we've been waiting on, and established himself as one of the best lefties in baseball, and one of the AL's better starters overall. The injuries didn't nag so much, and Bedard never got into a tailspin, as we'd seen him do so many times before. He was consistent, and he was good.

If Bedard would to knock his walks down some, he could be a truly phenomenal pitcher at any time. Let's look at his last three years:

    IP      ERA    WHIP     K    BB   HR
2004   137.3    4.59    1.60    121   71   13
2005   141.7    4.00    1.38    125   56   10
2006   196.3    3.76    1.35    171   69   16

Bedard comes into a season for the first time expected to produce like the team's best starter, not just on a hope that he will become the team's best starter. He's without any question the ace of our staff now.

And that's the line to project: IP, ERA, WHIP, K, BB, HR. Go to it.