Erik Bedard Moved To Bullpen, Rotation Replacement TBD

Mike Stobe

Astros manager Bo Porter announced Erik Bedard has been moved to the rotation. His replacement will be decided upon later this week.

On a lovely Sunday afternoon in Houston Brian T. Smith brings us this via Twitter:

With a Monday off-day the Astros will essentially skip Bedard in the rotation making him available in long relief and throw Jordan Lyles, Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell on regular rest.

With Bedard in the rotation I expect Travis Blackley and Dallas Keuchel to get long looks as possible replacements. There's a good chance that the Astros would like to have at least one lefty in the rotation so the possibility of Paul Clemens getting a start is decreased. And if they were going to give Clemens an opportunity in the bullpen I would have thought that they would have done it last week when Brad Peacock was demoted.

Blackley has pitched 9.1 innings in seven games allowing six runs, four of which were earned. He currently has a 3.86 ERA and a 4.77 SIERA. He was injured at the start of the year and hasn't really been stretched out so I think he has less of a shot at the rotation spot.

Keuchel has pitched 15 innings in five games allowing 12 runs, eight of which we earned. He currently has a 4.80 ERA and a 4.41 SIERA. He last pitched on May 2, in the Astros 14-inning loss. In 4.1 innings he allowed four runs but two of those were a result of two intentional walks (Yes, I am a Keuchel apologist). With his recent 4.1 innings of work he's a bit more stretched out and would be ready for a Friday start if he isn't used this next week.

Down in Oklahoma City there are two left-handed pitchers available. Brett Oberholtzer and Wes Musick.

Oberholtzer has a 7.79 ERA in four starts for the RedHawks. Since being demoted, however, he's made one start (April 28) giving up two runs in five innings. He's already been called up once to pitch out of the rotation so it's possible he could be called up again this time to start. He started Sunday's game for the RedHawks so it's possible he'll be rested enough to make a Friday start for the Astros. As of this writing he's given up no runs, two hits and one walk while striking out three in three innings. Very good chance he could be called up to start.

Musick, 26, acquired in the 2010 Matt Lindstrom trade, recently moved into the Astros rotation pitching six innings on May 1. In the game against the Nashville Sound he allowed one run, via a homerun, two hits and a walk while striking out four. He's only made one other start for the RedHawks an April 15 start against the Memphis Redbirds. In that game he pitched five innings, giving up zero runs on two hits and one walk while striking out five. Musick has been primarily used out of the bullpen for the RedHawks. Overall, he has a 2.49 ERA and a 3.48 FIP in 21.2 innings. I would consider him a darkhorse candidate.

It's certainly possible that a right-handed pitcher starts Friday, just don't expect it to be Jarred Cosart due to time considerations.

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