New Delivery, New Team, Equals Rough Season For Trevor Bauer
- DOB: 1/17/1991
- Bats/Throws: R/R
- Height/Weight: 6’1″/190 lbs.
- Position: SP
- Contract: $1.575 million (Major League deal signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, not eligible for arbitration until 2016, not eligible for free agency until at least 2019)
Trevor Bauer Career Stats:
|162 Game Avg.||9||17||.333||5.67||34||34||0||0||0||0||142||123||102||89||21||123||0||119||9||0||13||672||71||1.740||7.8||1.4||7.8||7.6||0.97|
|ARI (1 yr)||1||2||.333||6.06||4||4||0||0||0||0||16.1||14||13||11||2||13||0||17||1||0||2||77||69||1.653||7.7||1.1||7.2||9.4||1.31|
|CLE (1 yr)||1||2||.333||5.29||4||4||0||0||0||0||17.0||15||11||10||3||16||0||11||1||0||1||81||73||1.824||7.9||1.6||8.5||5.8||0.69|
Trevor Bauer 2013 Year In Review:
Acquired by the Indians in the winter after the 2012 season as part of the three-team trade that sent OF Shin-Soo Choo to the Cincinnati Reds, Bauer arrived in Cleveland with reports of an electric repertoire and high intelligence, but rumors that the Diamondbacks has soured on him due to conflicts about his delivery and questions about his coach-ability. After a late spring training injury to fifth starter Scott Kazmir and with the decision to have Carlos Carrasco serve an outstanding suspension early in the season, Bauer was summoned to make his Indians debut on April 6 in Tampa Bay as basically an emergency starter, a role he would play three more times that season. The results were mixed through his first three starts, though it was somewhat alarming Bauer had walked 15 batters in only 16.1 IP. The bottom seemed to fall out on Bauer’s season in his final start against the Chicago White Sox on June 28. Starting the second game of a traditional doubleheader, Bauer failed to get out of the first inning, giving up five runs on six hits, surrendering two home runs. Bauer also apparently surprised the Indians by pitching exclusively out of the stretch in that final start. After the start, Bauer said he had been reconstructing his delivery, though it’s unclear if the Indians were aware of this when he was called up for the start. The Indians optioned him back to Columbus, where he continued to refine his delivery, but he was not recalled to Cleveland the rest of the season.
Bauer also recorded this rap for some random Indians podcast.
Looking Ahead to 2014:
Publicly, the Indians haven’t said much regarding how much of a factor they believe Bauer can be at the big-league level in 2014. However, it doesn’t appear as if the Indians have completely counted out Bauer either. Manager Terry Francona said recently he thinks Bauer has a shot at the Tribe’s fifth starter role, and a few reports indicated his velocity has been up as high as 98 MPH this spring, which is better than the traditional 95-96 MPH he had shown so far in the Major Leagues. Bauer will pitch all of 2014 at age 23, which is still quite young, and will likely open the season in AAA Columbus.
Bring the heat: Scouts had Trevor Bauer hitting 98 mph Sun vs. Sea. J.C. Ramirez, spring-training invitee, hit 95 in B game Tues vs. LAA
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) March 4, 2014
What You Should Expect:
Nothing and everything, but the truth will likely be somewhere in between. Vague sayings aside, it’s really unclear what the Indians even expect from Bauer going forward, let alone what fans should expect. 2013 was a disappointment, and though technically still a prospect, the shine on Bauer’s star has dimmed a bit since he was popped for the third overall pick in the 2011 draft.
Bit a dim star doesn’t mean said star is out, or won’t shine again. Yes, there are real concerns with Bauer going forward, and early reports indicate he may have trouble repeating his reworked delivery. But the increase in velocity is a good sign, and it’s worth noting that Bauer is just 23, which makes him younger than any other potential member of the Indians’s rotation, including Danny Salazar. Baseball is littered with pitchers who took a little longer to figure it all out, and the Indians do control Bauer for at least another five years.
Bauer is an intelligent young man, who is both dedicated and opinionated regarding his craft. There has been no public confirmation or mention of Bauer being “uncoachable” by any member of the Tribe’s coaching staff or front office. It’s possible Bauer still spends most of the season in Columbus, learning to repeat and perfect his delivery, before a mid-to-late-season call up, but this situation doesn’t imply any lack of progress or failure on Bauer’s part; if anything it more shows the Indians would prefer to give Carrasco, who is out of options, one final shot to win a spot in the starting rotation. The Indians didn’t acquire Trevor Bauer for the 2013 season, and it’s possible he isn’t a major factor in 2014, either. But it would be remarkably silly to write off such a talented young arm so early, and it looks like the Tribe doesn’t intend to write off Bauer as a lost cause quite yet.