I don’t know… Maybe Bedrock is too low, maybe he shouldn’t be on here at all. The question here, as I see it, is whether I’m worried about how well he played for the Braves (very well, until the end) versus his actual impact (which was fairly low). In the end, I needed to get him on here, and it’s possible he should be a lot higher, even if he was largely a might-have-been.
Bedrosian was drafted out of the University of New Haven in the third round of the 1978 draft and up with the team three years later. In 1982 he became a bullpen workhorse. What I didn’t realize until I started writing this is how well Steve pitched for the Braves. That ERA is nearly half a run better than the league, and he had three monster seasons where he was one of the most effective relievers in the game — 1982, 1984, and 1993. He was part of the constant “How can we keep Gene Garber from being the closer?” rollercoaster of the eighties, saving 11, 19, and 11 games from 1982-84, leading the team in the middle season (actually his least effective of the period).
The Braves signed Bruce Sutter before the 1985 season, and let’s just say Sutter won’t be appearing on this countdown. This is pretty much the period where the Braves were being run by dumb people, who then decided to make Bedrosian into a starter. He actually pitched pretty well, posting a 3.83 ERA (right about the league average), which made him the second or third best pitcher on the team. That team was very bad and didn’t score any runs for him, leading to a 7-15 record and causing the aformentioned dumb people to trade him and Milt Thompson for two other players who won’t be appearing on this list, Ozzie Virgil and Pete Smith.
So, anyway, two years later Steve wins the Cy Young Award and makes himself a lot of money, and then begins a slow fade. The Braves picked him up cheap in 1993 after he’d been out of baseball the prior season, and he gave them an excellent campaign that year, albeit mostly in low-leverage situations, going 5-2 with a 1.63 ERA in 49 2/3 IP. He pitched decently in 1994, with a 3.33 ERA in 46 innings, but like many people the strike basically ended his career; he had a 6.61 ERA when he hung up his spikes in August of ’95.
There’s a stat called “Runs Saved Above Average”. I don’t really understand how it’s calculated, and I’m not crazy about comparing players to the average, but I’ll just say this: There are only eight Braves from 1966-present with better career RSAA with the club than Bedrosian. The lowest rank for any of those eight is 23rd. Like I said, maybe he should be higher.