Cardinals Righthander Ian Bedell Readies To Return In May

When righthander Ian Bedell returned to his home in Iowa and readied for a significant week on the calendar—one with a notable date and an important step—the word “warmup” took on a different meaning than it had for months in Florida.

“Throwing down there is very easy,” Bedell said, laughing. “It’s easy to get lose. No heating needed. Here, it’s just frigid. It took a lot longer for my arm to feel like it was warm.”

And that was before the Iowa snowfall.

On Christmas Day, Bedell marked seven months since Tommy John surgery ended his first pro season. On Dec. 28, he was scheduled to throw off the mound for the first time since elbow surgery—and that’s when snow came to town.

Blanketed roads delayed Bedell’s return to the mound by a day but didn’t chill his enthusiasm.

A 2020 fourth-round pick out Missouri, Bedell entertained the idea of returning to the Tigers. A bonus of $800,000 and a chance with his boyhood team changed that plan.

The Cardinals were intrigued by Bedell’s 4-0, 0.59 performance in the Cape Cod League in 2019 and noted similarities with past draft picks such as Zac Gallen.

In spring 2021, Bedell began to get the sharpness in his fastball and the feel for a misbehaving changeup.

And then he didn’t feel much at all.

Bedell struggled as High-A Peoria’s Opening Day starter, allowing three runs and recording two outs. A relief appearance five days later went better, but soreness gripped his forearm the next day.

A scan revealed a ruptured elbow ligament.

In addition to enrolling in 12 credit hours of online classes at Mizzou, Bedell used his time recovering to adjust his diet and add muscle. He had put on seven pounds by the new year.

Without setbacks, Bedell could be game ready by May, but the biggest strides are ahead, and those start back in Florida around mid January.

That’s when his rehab really warms up.




— The potential adoption of the DH in the National League could accelerate slugger Luken Baker’s route to the majors, just with another organization. Baker, 24, hit 26 homers at Double-A to go with a .248/.322/.530 slash line and 103 strikeouts in 347 at-bats. The Cardinals, seeing Juan Yepez as the rising righthanded hitter at that position, left Baker unprotected for the Rule 5 draft, whenever it takes place.

— After claiming righthander Ljay Newsome on waivers from the Mariners, the Cardinals slipped him off the 40-man roster to Triple-A Memphis where he can continue to rehab. Newsome, 25, is recovering from elbow surgery and could be ready by midseason. In 2019, he had 151 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 155 innings.


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