Astros Question of the Week: Should Paul Clemens replace Erik Bedard in the rotation?

In this segment, I try to stir up trouble by talking about key issues in the Astros lineup or pitching staff. Today, let's look at whether the rookie is better than the fragile veteran.

Sitting there at your water cooler, you probably ask questions like this all the time.

Well, check that. A small number of you who care about the Astros deeply may be talking about them around the water cooler, usually to people who haven't followed the team since Bagwell and Biggio roamed the diamond. But, let's assume we're in a perfect sports world here.

What I'd like to do each Monday is to bring up a question like this and throw it to you, the reader. Debate each side of an issue, just to talk about this terrible major league team we're all watching. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you don't, but I know everyone on the internet has opinions, right?

This may be one of my ideas that flames out pretty quickly, but I'd like to keep it going. So, if it works out and you all respond, we'll make this a regular Monday thing.

First up on our pot-boiling topics is this:

Should rookie Paul Clemens replace Erik Bedard in Houston's rotation?

Let's break down each case and then throw it to you, the jury.

The case for Clemens

Is one gif too thin of a case?

I mean, the Legend of Paul Clemens doesn't need much embellishment. But, for argument's sake, let's lay out his credentials for people who don't like awesomeness.

Clemens, 25, has pitched in three games for Houston since being called up when Travis Blackley first went on the disabled list. In those three games, the right-hander has thrown 12 2/3 innings with four strikeouts, three walks and a 3.55 ERA. He's got a lively fastball that has averaged 92 MPH so far in the big leagues and mixes in a changeup and a curve.

What's more, Clemens was a key part of the Michael Bourn deal and has been knocking on the major league door for a while now. If he can become a solid member of the rotation, he should be around when the Astros start winning again.

None of that can be said for Bedard.

The case for Bedard

Meanwhile, the crafty veteran Erik Bedard is 34 years young, has already gotten over a strained Bedardadonk (h/t to Astros County) and has all that veteran-y grit and moxy.

In 11 2/3 innings, Bedard has struck out 14 with eight walks and a 6.17 ERA. His peripherals are also much better than his straight results, as Bedard has an FIP of 4.91 and a SIERA of 5.63. Clemens, meanwhile, has been succeeding despite mediocre peripherals.

Plus, if the Astros keep Bedard in the rotation, they'll have a possible trade chip come July that may net them a prospect or two. If they bounce him from the rotation now, his value might drop precipitously.

Verdict

So, Astros fans and TCB readers, what's it going to be? Should Paul Clemens replace Bedard in the rotation? Could Bedard be more effective for Houston in three inning chunks when the starter fails to get out of the first inning? Will either of them be contributors on this team come September?

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