Bedrosian leans on accomplished dad

Angels reliever spent offseason throwing with Cy Young winner Steve

Bedrosian leans on accomplished dad

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Cam Bedrosian appeared in 58 professional games last season, 34 in the Majors and another 24 in Triple-A. Immediately after each of them, the Angels' young reliever walked straight to his locker, found his smartphone and shot a quick text message: "What did you think?"

On the other end was his distinguished father, Cy Young Award-winning closer Steve Bedrosian, who was either at the ballpark or staying up well past midnight on the East Coast, waiting to critique or advise or, oftentimes, console.

"He knows my mechanics probably better than I do," the younger Bedrosian said. "That's how much he's involved."

Every time Bedrosian picked up a baseball this offseason, he threw it to his father. Steve Bedrosian is 58 years old now, more than 20 years removed from the last of a 14-year career that finished with 184 saves. But he can still let it go. He still backs up to 250 feet, still throws with some zip on the ball, still straps on the shin guards from time to time.

He's still his son's preferred throwing partner.

"He doesn't really like it when I play catch with other guys, honestly," Cam Bedrosian said. "He wants to play catch with me every time."

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The elder Bedrosian owns a ranch that sits on 120 acres in Senoia, a small Georgia town located 35 miles south of Atlanta. Adjacent to the main home on the property is a hayloft that was turned into a three-bedroom guesthouse more than 20 years ago.

Cam Bedrosian transitioned there over the winter.

He repainted the walls, replaced the carpet, installed a pingpong table and mounted a large flat-screen TV. It quickly became his cherished space, because it was his and because Dad remained close.

"My own little man cave," Cam Bedrosian, 24, said, a big smile on his face.

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This is a big year for Bedrosian, because at some point the promise dissolves and the results must follow. So far, his electric right arm has produced only a 5.81 ERA, a 1.79 WHIP and a scary 5.3 walks per nine innings across 51 Major League appearances over the last two years. Now he's battling for a spot in the Angels' bullpen and fighting an uphill climb.

His father's advice?

"Have fun," Cam Bedrosian said, "and trust it. It's a roller-coaster ride. You have your bad outings and you have your good outings. The big thing for him was just have fun, enjoy it while I'm here. People say it all the time. You're going to have a lot longer after baseball than you will during it. So just enjoy it, and just trust it."

More than anything, Bedrosian needs to trust his breaking ball.

The right-hander can throw his fastball in the upper-90s, but has yet to find a consistent breaking-ball pitch to offset it. Bedrosian's main offspeed pitch is essentially a curveball, but he throws it with the mentality of a slider so that it has more bite. It ends up as something of a slurve.

Bedrosian has spent the entire offseason working to refine it. He throws it more often than his fastball, even while playing catch on flat ground.

"If I can get that going, man ..."

Bedrosian's voice tailed off. He admits these last couple of years haven't been all that fun, making it really difficult to adhere to his father's advice.

"I really do put a lot of pressure on myself," Bedrosian said. "I don't like that I do, but I do."

Steve Bedrosian worked with his son on that over the winter, among other things. They threw several times a week from the middle of December until the start of February, usually on a 15-acre pasture that sits in the front of the house where Cam Bedrosian grew up. The younger Bedrosian worked diligently on finding that perfect release.

And every time it was just a bit off, his dad was there to tell him.

"It's special," Bedrosian said of training with his father. "I know a lot of guys don't have that privilege. I'm lucky enough to have a dad who still cares enough to do that. I know it's a blessing to have him there."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.