Trevor Bauer First Up in Rotation Battle
Terry Francona says not to read into anything, but it’s hard not to. With the battle for the last spot in the rotation about to get underway, Trevor Bauer will be the first to show his stuff when Cactus League play begins on Wednesday.
Rather than start the spring season off with one of the established starters, I use the word established loosely, Francona has opted to stare down the elephant in the room head on. And yes, it’s only be one inning, but that one inning holds a lot of weight. How can we not at least feel as if this is important when the most highly touted pitcher in this competition will lead things off? Then again, as Francona made sure to mention, it is only one inning and it’s very possible that he made the decision based on the alphabet.
Either way you choose to look at it, all eyes will be on Trevor Bauer on Wednesday afternoon. After all, a lot of questions can be answered in just one inning of work, or in Bauer’s case, a lot more questions can rise to the surface. It was in one dismal inning of work last season against the White Sox that made everyone watch say to themselves, or even out loud, “What the hell is he doing?”
In one inning of work, in a disaster of a start against the White Sox, Bauer took the mound to start the game and opted to pitch solely out of the stretch. In actuality he didn’t even get through one inning. In just two-thirds of an inning pitched, Bauer allowed five runs on six hits and a walk. He allowed two home runs in those six hits and also hit a batter while throwing 49 pitches. Like I said, it was a disaster that pushed Bauer back to triple-A to re-tool his mechanics, including his wind up.
Now, with his mechanics back under control and his wind up to where he wants it to be, Trevor Bauer reportedly looks like the Trevor Bauer of old. In his various sessions throughout the winter and this spring, he has looked like the dominant pitcher that was once one of the highest rated pitching prospects in the game. As long as the mechanics hold up, there is no reason why we shouldn’t expect to see that same type of performance in a live game situation.
Regardless, Wednesday is a big day for the Indians and for Trevor Bauer. This is the first time we will see them in a live-game situation since the heart-breaking defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays back in October. It signifies the official return of baseball. It’s back!
Now let’s just hope that Trevor Bauer and the Indians get things started on the right foot, or especially in Bauer’s case the right hand. We’ll all be watching.