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Bauer Making a Pitch for Big Leagues

Bauer Making a Pitch for Big Leagues

| On 28, Apr 2014

The Cleveland Indians’ most promising pitching prospect comes in the arm of Trevor Bauer.

Bauer was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB Amatuer Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The young pitcher was drafted out of the University of California-Los Angeles where he went 34-8 as a Bruin.

During his junior year at UCLA, he was awarded the Golden Spikes Award, which is a annual award given to the nation’s premier amateur baseball player by USA Baseball, as well as National Player of the Year for the second-consecutive year. He also earned Collegiate Baseball’s National Freshman Pitcher of the Year award in 2009 and led the NCAA in strikeouts as a sophomore in 2010 (165) and as a junior in 2011 (203).

He spent his first season in professional baseball pitching for the Visalia Rawhide (A) of the California League and the Mobile BayBears (AA) of the Southern League.

The next season, Bauer made eight starts for Mobile in 2012 and went 7-1 with 60 strikeouts in 48.1 innings before getting called up to the Reno Aces (AAA) for the rest of the season. In Reno, Bauer made 14 starts and ended the Pacific Coast League season 5-1. He was called up to Arizona towards the end of the season and started four games with a record of 1-2 and 17 strikeouts with the Diamondbacks.

In December 2012, Bauer was involved in the three-team trade with the Indians, Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds that included Drew Stubbs going to Cleveland and Shin-Shoo Choo going to Cincinnati.

After being acquired by the Indians, Bauer spent the entire 2013 season at the AAA-level with the Columbus Clippers. During the Clippers’ 2013 season, Bauer started 22 games and recorded a 6-7 record. He amounted 106 strikeouts in 121.1 innings pitched as a Clipper, but his ERA totaled to 4.15 at the end of the season.

In 2013, Bauer was brought up to Cleveland to start four games, in which he went 1-2 with 17.0 innings pitched, 11 strike outs, 16 walks and a 5.29 ERA.

His first start for the Indians came on April 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bauer went five innings, gave up three runs and seven walks against the Rays and was sent back to Columbus. He started three games for the Clippers before he was called up to Cleveland again for a May 1 start against the Philadelphia Phillies at home. Despite not allowing any runs against the Phillies, he only threw five innings and gave up six walks and five strikeouts.

After one more start with Columbus, Bauer got the call from Cleveland again and faced the New York Yankees in he second game of the May 13 doubleheader at Progressive Field. Bauer lasted 6.1 innings, his longest start with Indians that far. This time around he only gave up two walks, two runs and struck out four Yankee batters.

Bauer’s final 2013 start for the Indians came and went really fast thanks to the Chicago White Sox. He lasted 0.2 innings in his June 28 start in Chicago with the White Sox scoring five runs off of five hits, two of which were home runs.

This season, Bauer has started four games — three with Columbus and one with Cleveland. His first 2014 start came in the Clippers’ opening game of the season on April 4 against the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh-AAA). Bauer threw six innings, struck out nine Indianapolis batters, and only allowed two hits and one run.

Bauer’s second start of the season was also his first start with Cleveland. He was called up to pitch in the second game of the April 9 doubleheader against the San Diego Padres. Bauer struck out eight Padres while only allowing four hits and two runs, one of which was earned.

Despite getting the loss, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona was still pleased with Bauer’s performance.

Since his start with Cleveland, Bauer has won three-consecutive games with the Clippers. On April 16, he threw six innings and struck out nine on the road against the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit-AAA) while giving up one walk and five hits. He won his next game with 6.2 innings on April 22 against the Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta-AAA) in Columbus.

Yesterday, he won his third-straight outing, this time on the road against the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore-AAA). Bauer threw seven innings and seven strikeouts against the Tides, while allowing two runs and five hits.

Though he has good outings regularly, Bauer is still a work-in-progress.

“There are going to be bumps in the road,” Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona said following a Spring Training start from Bauer. “The last thing we’ll ever do is bail on him … It might not always be easy.”

Columbus Clippers manager Chris Tremie knows what Bauer is capable of and how his AAA experience will help him in the long run.

“I think he’s capable of being really good,” Tremie said. “The more experience he gets, the better he’s going to be.”

The Clippers are on the road this week with games against the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore-AAA) and the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay-AAA). They return to Columbus next week when they host the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota-AAA) May 5-8 and the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington-AAA) May 9-12.

Photo: Columbus Dispatch

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