New starting pitcher Erik Bedard will take the hill for the Pirates on Opening Day against the Phillies on April 5, Dejan Kovacevic writes. There were rumors that it would be Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia (and Kovacevic started the Karstens rumor less than an hour before reporting it would be Bedard), but for whatever it's worth, it appears the Pirates have their man.â†µ
Not that any of this matters much beyond Opening Day, but Bedard is reasonably likely to be the Pirates' best starting pitcher for as long as he can stay healthy.â†µ
Clint Hurdle says that if A.J. Burnett had stayed healthy, he would have been the likely starter, which would have been fine from a baseball perspective and smart for P.R. reasons, in that the Pirates took on a fair amount of salary to acquire Burnett from the Yankees.â†µ
After Bedard, the Pirates' next three starters will be Karstens, James McDonald and Correia. Charlie Morton is the other member of the rotation, but the Pirates have some off days at the beginning of the year, and Morton got a late start in Spring Training due to the hip surgery he had in the offseason.