Choi, Bedrosian relish first taste of The Show

Choi, Bedrosian relish first taste of The Show

ANAHEIM -- Every text message Cam Bedrosian receives from his father, Steve, the former Cy Young Award-winning closer, ends similarly.

Keep pushing, Big Leaguer.

Hang in there, Big Leaguer.

Congratulations, Big Leaguer.

It didn't matter if Bedrosian was stuck in the Minor Leagues in the summer or a perceived longshot for the Angels' bullpen in Spring Training. To Steve, Cam is always "big leaguer."

"He just wants to keep reminding me that I'm here for a reason," the younger Bedrosian said. "He does it all the time."

Bedrosian's quick reactions

Steve did it again over the weekend, shortly after Bedrosian received news that he had won the final spot in the bullpen and cracked his first Opening Day roster. Angels manager Mike Scioscia told him casually as he walked down the hallway with fellow reliever Mike Morin after Saturday's exhibition game against the Dodgers.

The final bench spot went to first baseman Ji-Man Choi, the Rule 5 Draft pick who will serve as a lefty pinch-hitter, defensive replacement and occasional starter.

Choi was signed out of high school in South Korea and made his professional debut as a 19-year-old in the Mariners' system in 2010, finishing the season as the organization's Offensive Player of the Year. But he was docked 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in '14 and was limited to 23 games because of a broken leg in '15.

"If it wasn't for the surgeries, I might have made it to the big leagues earlier," Choi said through his interpreter, Jae Park.

His family, back in South Korea, wasn't surpised when Choi called to tell them he made the team on Saturday.

"One of the Korean newspapers reported it before it happened," he said. "They already knew."

Bedrosian -- 24 years old, just like Choi -- has a 5.81 ERA in 51 Major League appearances over the last two years. He entered this season focused on getting ahead of hitters and sharpening his breaking ball, a pitch he helped refine while playing catch with his father over the offseason.

That pitch -- thrown with the mentality of a slider, but resembling something of a slurve -- is "a lot" better now, Bedrosian said.

"Especially from when I came up two years ago," he added. "Two years ago, it was good. And then I just kind of lost it. I don't know why."

Worth noting

Jered Weaver is slated to throw about four innings in a simulated game at Angel Stadium on Tuesday, his presumed final step before getting cleared to pitch in games. Weaver could then start Sunday, at home against the Rangers, or next Monday, in Oakland.

Albert Pujols started at designated hitter on Opening Day for the first time in his career on Monday. Pujols entered the spring coming off November foot surgery and the Angels said throughout they would be cautious with his time at first base. Pujols played just two spring games there.

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