As an MLB lockout froze, baseball activity “only increased” and rehab continued for prospects like Cardinals’ Bedell | St. Louis Cardinals

When he let go of his four-seam fastball, landed his knuckle curve and, best of all, curbed that change, those sophomore sensations surfaced during his first spring practice session.

“The mix of all this and the high level of confidence,” said Bedell. “It was like riding high all season. Coming back to that. It felt like the movement, the command, the speed – all that stuff was there.”

And then things got better.

Bedell’s spring landed him a spot as the opening day starter of High-A Peoria, the Cardinals’ affiliate 75 minutes from his hometown and regular visitors to Quad Cities. His parents were there in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 4 when Bedell debuted with a dud. He gave up three runs and four hits before getting a third out. Five days later, he appeared in relief, striking out two batters in two strong innings. And then the pain continued. He got 2 2/3 innings into his pro career before the team doctor told him the results of a scan: torn ligament.

“I thought you’d say forearm flexor (tendon) and I’d be out for a few months,” Bedell recalled thinking. “My first reaction was just to laugh.”

He spent most of the first pro season in an arm brace to restrict movement.

He called it his “bionic arm.”

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