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Pirates All 40: David Bednar Finds His Place In Hometown

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David Bednar

This is the one in a series of stories looking at members of the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster.

When the Pittsburgh Pirates first acquired David Bednar from the San Diego Padres two offseason ago in the Joe Musgrove trade, he was considered by many to be more of a secondary piece.

In parts of two seasons with the Padres, Bednar posted a 6.75 ERA across 17 appearances.

The poor showing led many to overlook the right-hander, until it was known that Bednar was a Pittsburgh native, having grown up in Mars — some 25 miles from PNC Park.

The acquisition quickly turned into a feel-good story. The Pirates had one of their own donning the black and gold.

Then, that feel-good story quickly turned into more.

In his first season with Pittsburgh in 2021, Bednar quickly became a prominent arm in the Bucs’ bullpen. Bednar went 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his first season back in his hometown. He picked up his first career save on Aug. 21 that year and finished with three on the season.

As an encore in 2022, Bednar was named a National League All-Star as the Pirates’ lone representative in the Midsummer Classic.

Bednar finished this past season with a 2.61 ERA, 19 saves and 69 strikeouts across 45 appearances. He served as the club’s closer for much of the season.

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The only real blemish on Bednar’s season didn’t have anything to do with performance. The right-hander missed a month and a half of the season with a back injury.

The bright side is that Bednar was able to work his way back by season’s end and now has a full offseason heading into 2023.

Bednar has cemented himself as the Pirates’ top relief arm — a relief ace if you will. He will again will help to anchor a bullpen that was largely inconsistent a season ago.

The Pirates have a couple different ways they can use Bednar next season. Of course one of those ways is in the closer role.

Then again, manager Derek Shelton could opt to use the 28-year-old in high-leverage situations, not necessarily in the ninth inning alone.

Either way, the Pirates are counting on a healthy David Bednar to be a major contributor next season.

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