Good insight with Bedard. I disagree though. Throughout his career, he's never been a high-walk guy. In the minors, he posted a 5 to 1 k/bb ratio. In fact, he was regarded as the O's top prospect not because of the movement on his fastball and curve, but because of his uncanny control and smooth, effortless throwing motion. Now, he's got a quality changeup in his arsenal as well.
His problems last year didn't stem from a lack of control. It was from a lack of confidence. He would get ahead in the count, then he would nibble around the plate, trying to get the hitter to go for a pitch out of the strikezone. That's why his pitches per inning were so high last year. He didn't believe he could punch guys out by going right after them. It wasn't a lack of control. This year, with a changeup that makes his plus fastball more effective, he's going right after guys.
I agree with the soft early schedule leading towards early success, but I think he'll get stronger as the year goes on as he recovers more from TJ surgery and as he gains more confidence.
He's not gonna maintain Cy-young numbers, but as a fantasy owner of the guy, I'm expecting 15 wins, 170 ks, 3.30 era.