The Los Angeles Angels are moving slowly with first-round Draft pick Cam Bedrosian.
The highly touted son of former big league closer Steve, Bedrosian missed all of 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. And while the Angels are pleased to see him back on the mound, they know progress doesn't always come quickly.
On Wednesday, Bedrosian gave the biggest indication that his arm will be just fine. The 6-foot right-hander scattered two hits and fanned two batters over a career-high seven scoreless innings in the Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels' 9-1 loss to the visiting Fort Wayne TinCaps.
"There haven't been any major setbacks, but it's been tougher than I thought, tougher than I first imagined," said Bedrosian. "My velocity isn't quiet what it used to be and it has taken me a while to get my command back.
"Setbacks are a part of sport and you have to roll with punches, but eventually I'll get to where I want to be."
The Angels' No. 8 prospect allowed just two base hits -- Lee Orr's infield single in the third inning and Travis Whitmore's clean single on an 0-1 fastball to center field to lead off the sixth.
But Orr was erased on an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play and Whitmore was forced out at second on an around-the-horn twin killing. No other batter reached base against the 20-year-old, who did not issue any walks for the second time in his pro career.
"This was probably the best I've thrown all year," he added. "I feel really happy about it. My fastball was working and I was throwing it down and in a lot. And I was able to put that and my changeup both together.
"I didn't throw my curveball too much because I was getting ahead with my fastball and change, but when I did use it it was good."
A native of Senoia, Ga., Bedrosian turned the shutout bid over to the bullpen in the eighth, but R.J. Alvarez (0-2) surrendered six runs -- one earned -- over two-thirds of an inning as the TinCaps sent nine men to the plate to break the game wide open.
Selected 29th overall in the 2010 Draft, Bedrosian -- whose father won the 1987 Cy Young award with the Phillies four years before he was born -- has appeared in just 18 games over his three-year career.
"My pitch count has been around 80 this year, but I missed two starts with blisters on my toe," Bedrosian explained. "I was only at 64 pitches through seven, but my pitch limit was 70 today. It's the year after my surgery and I'm about 15 months out of that, so they're taking it easy."
He made five appearances for the Angels' Arizona League affiliate in his rookie year, but he was sidelined last season as he recovered from elbow surgery.
Bedrosian made his '12 season debut with the Kernels on May 1 -- his first game since Aug. 5, 2010 -- and he held the West Michigan Whitecaps hitless over 4 1/3 innings.
Since then, he has pitched into the fifth frame just four times in his next 12 starts.
In 13 Midwest League starts, Bedrosian is 2-6 with a 4.62 ERA. He has struck out 26 batters and issued 31 walks over 50 2/3 innings.
"I've struggled with walks and getting behind guys, but I got strike one tonight," he said. "It really helps when you can get ahead. The biggest thing [I will take] from today is confidence."
On Thursday, Fort Wayne starter Adys Portillo allowed one run on four hits over six innings. He walked two batters and struck out three in lowering his ERA to 1.87. Dennis O'Grady, the first pitcher out of the TinCaps bullpen, worked around two hits over an inning of relief to earn the victory and improve to 3-0.