Less than two years ago, it seemed as if the LA Angels had an excellent young relief duo in Cam Bedrosian and Kenyan Middleton.
While Middleton had performed adequately for the LA Angels until a Tommy John surgery last season, Cam Bedrosian has had mixed results. At times, he has looked like the player the Halos spent a first round pick on back in 2010. However, more often than not, he seems like a player barely clinging onto a roster spot.
Going into 2019, Bedrosian is facing a make-or-break type of year. While the Angels have club control of him until 2022, the 27-year old needs to show he can be a strong enough piece for them to continue using a bullpen spot on him. While most Angels fans would tell you Bedrosian is a lost cause, there is enough evidence to make the case that Bedrosian can be a solid contributor as the Angels aim for the playoffs in 2019.
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Obviously the most encouraging part of Bedrosian’s career thus far has been his 2016 season, where he pitched in 45 games and dominated opponents with a 1.12 ERA. While that number ballooned to 4.43 in 2017, he was able to come back down to a respectable level in 2018. 2019 will be the year that tells Angels fans if they have the elite 2016 Bedrosian, the awful 2017 version, or the slightly above average version we saw last season.
Last season, Bedrosian had issues with his velocity, which figures to be the primary focus of his offseason workouts this year. He was very inconsistent throughout the season, as he had one month (June) where he had a 0.64 ERA in 13 appearances, but also had two months where his ERA shot above 7.00.
For Bedrosian, in 2019 two things should be his focus. First off, he needs his velocity back. Given he has an entire offseason to figure it out and he showed he can still be his old self at times last year, that seems like a good bet to happen.
The second is consistency. In the MLB, no leash is shorter on players than relief pitchers, as there are so many capable of getting the job done that a few bad innings can take you out of your role. Last season, Bedrosian showed he can be the elite pitcher the Angels drafted. However, he also showed he can be a wasted talent. In 2019, Bedrosian needs to show the Angels which pitcher he is, and prove to them he, along with Middleton, are the future of the LA Angels bullpen.