CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Someday, and maybe even soon, Trevor Bauer may wind up at the top of the Indians pitching rotation.
That day though clearly isn’t today.
The impression he made on the baseball world in what seemed to be a very long spot start Saturday night against the Rays takes away the following – Bauer still needs a lot of work.
The former 3rd overall pick of the 2011 MLB Draft was all over the place, walking the first four batters in a five inning outing worthy of forgetting in an Indians 6-0 loss to the Rays.
Bauer made heads turn late in camp when the day before he was sent to AAA camp he told reporters (myself included) that he was working on things, and trying to overwrite 10 plus years of “neuromuscular programming,” by changing certain pitching mechanics.
He’s a smart kid, no doubt about it, but maybe right now still a little too smart for his own good.
Instead of simply going out and throwing pitches, at times it looks like Bauer tries almost too hard, overthrowing just to show how good he can be.
That was the case on Saturday, and the result was a disaster.
Instead of giving the Indians a shot to win (Alex Cobb and the lack of Tribe offense did have a lot to do with it), Bauer tried to flex his pitching muscles a little too much, and the results spoke for itself.
He walked seven, struck out two and threw 105 pitches, including just 59 for strikes. Ouch.
Bauer at least admitted that when you start a game, walking the first four batters isn’t a good way to make a good impression.
“My worst moment out there were the first four walks,” Bauer said. “No one in particular, just lump them all together.”
All the blame can’t be on Bauer for the outing, he was supposed to be able to go to Columbus and settle in as a pitcher working on his stuff to get ready for the long haul of a season.
Instead, the Indians played it safe with Scott Kazmir and put him on the DL, pushing Bauer into a spot start vs the Rays in just the fifth game of the 2013 season.
Now that it’s over, it’s more obvious than ever that Bauer needs time, and work in the minors. He needs to grow up both physically and mentally, and while the Indians will give him all the time he needs, it will be up to Bauer now to make those progressions.