Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The night new Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer found out he had been traded to the Tribe, he was sitting in a Chipotle looking forward to eating a burrito.
“My agent called me and told me I was traded, I asked him if I could go in and finish my burrito,” Bauer laughed recalling the story Wednesday at Progressive Field.
“I didn’t get to finish my burrito.”
The new Indians thrower comes to the team with a lot of promise, a player that was selected number three overall in the 2011 draft.
From the sounds of it, he’s ready to start living up to that promise as soon as he can get on the mound.
“I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to come to a city that has very passionate fans,” Bauer said. “It’s been a blessing and I am excited for it.”
Bauer will enter the spring trying to make it as a starter at the back end of the starting rotation. Right now he’s going to challenge for one of those starting roles.
If it doesn’t work out, Bauer says he won’t let it effect the way he prepares, and says he will not allow being a starter in the Majors in 2013 or not to be a distraction.
“I’d like to be, obviously everyone wants to be part of the Major League team, I’m no different,” Bauer said. “I really try to focus on the things I can control, and the only thing I can control is getting better.
“I’m young still, and if I get too caught up with if I am in the big leagues or not it doesn’t do me any good, and it distracts me.”
Bauer may just be the hit of the Indians new look spring training with new skipper Terry Francona. He will for sure be something different to watch, incorporating a pregame and training routine that no one else in baseball uses.
It includes throwing long toss (otherwise known as “late launch”) before a start that at times could see him throw nearly from foul pole to foul pole.
He also does a crow step or two from behind the mound and firing the ball as hard as he can toward home plate to begin his warm-ups.
They were all techniques that he started as a young man who got some advice from his dad.
“I don’t really know how it started,” Bauer said. “It’s changed dramatically from the time I first started doing it. It probably all started when I was 6 or 7 and my dad told me you have to warm up in order to throw, and he said to go run and get the blood flowing a little.
“All these different ideas, I’ve kind of taken what I’ve liked and left what I didn’t like, and put them all into a routine to get to a certain feel.”
The pitcher dominated at UCLA, in three seasons going 34-8 with a 2.36 ERA and 460 strikeouts in 373 innings of work.
He was very good in the minors, and did start four games for the Diamondbacks last season, going 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA. He struck out 17 batters in 16.1 innings.
Some felt that he and the D-Backs didn’t see eye to eye about his training, but he denied that when asked about it Wednesday.
He did say that at 21 already getting traded did mentally take a little getting use to, but in the end it’s just a part of the game.
“I never looked at it as a negative at all,” Bauer said. “Getting traded, as far as how I looked at it from a preparation and training standpoint it really didn’t make any difference to me.
“Mentally there’s some adjustment that has to be made, but at the end of the day that’s the sport we play, baseball, your going to get traded, very few players go their whole career without getting traded.”
Expect to hear Bauer’s name quite a bit during spring training, as the Indians have been looking for a front-line starter for sometime to get back into the rotation and make them a force again in the AL Central.
If there’s one thing about Bauer, he’ll make this pitching staff a lot more interesting.
“I think I am just an exciting player to watch, because the things I do are a little bit different,” Bauer said.
Exciting and different, two words to watch with Bauer once things get rolling in Goodyear.