Found April 13, 2013 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
By Tony LastoriaFOX Sports Ohio
It's hard not to get excited over the potential of Indians' right-handed starter Trevor Bauer.
Since the Indians picked him up in a wild three-team deal this past December, there has been a lot of hype surrounding Bauer's unique personality and the type of pitcher he will end become.
But as Bauer displayed in Tampa last Saturday, he is still an unfinished product - not quite ready for prime time.
This does not mean that Bauers bright star has dimmed; but he has a few things he needs to focus to become more consistent and perform at the high level expected of him.
In his first start of the season the 22-year old bobbed and weaved his way through five innings, fortunate to only allow three runs. He gave up just two hits, but struggled with his command, issuing seven walks.
Bauers emotions were likely on overload in the first start of the season, which may have had an effect on his command. He has struggled with fastball command in the early stages of his professional career.
However, a freak rib cage injury to lefty Scott Kazmir just hours before the start of the season resulted in the Indians being forced to have Bauer open the season in the starting rotation. Bauer's debut outing showed exactly why the Indians originally had him in the minors to open the season.
A key piece in the deal that shipped out former outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds, the Indians wanted Bauer to open the season at Triple-A Columbus so he could be left alone in a non-pressure environment. There is something to be said about allowing a player to relax in his first few starts, unlike opening the season on the Major League roster.
The Indians believe that Bauer has a chance to be a front of the rotation pitcher, as a good number two starter or potentially an ace. He has a near-Major League ready arm and could be a key part of their rotation for at least the next half-decade.
Bauer has a deep arsenal of pitches with three that are considered at least above average. He throws several different variations of each pitch, always experimenting with new grips and mechanics to give them different looks. He features a 92-95 MPH four-seam fastball that touches 98 MPH when he lets it loose, and he gets good swing and miss on it due to velocity and movement.
The pitch that makes Bauer effective is his curveball, with good top to bottom break to it. It is his best pitch he throws and is a put away offering. He also has a very good slider and a solid changeup and splitter.
Bauer constantly tweaks his pitches and comes up with his own - he has a reverse slider that breaks in on right-handed hitters. Another pitch he uses is called The Bird - is a pitch he throws with the middle finger raised that gets more side to side action than his normal curveball.
What makes Bauer so unique is his unusual understanding of pitching mechanics. He is a religious follower of biomechanics as he constantly studies it, to have a better understanding of what his muscular, joint and skeletal actions of his body are doing.
The stuff is certainly there to be an effective front of the rotation workhorse, and he certainly is intelligent beyond his experiences, but even before the start of spring training the Indians knew they needed to fine tune different areas of his game.
The biggest area Bauer needs to show improvement is with fastball and curveball command. It is about refining his strike throwing ability and being more efficient with his pitches, often the separator between a great pitcher and an okay one.
Bauer is young and has the aptitude to improve - the clubhouse feeling is with a good two to three months in the minors, he will make the necessary improvements and be prepared to come up to Cleveland permanently.
Bauers first start was forgettable considering the results, but there were some encouraging signs as well. He showed toughness on the mound and was not rattled, despite the walks.
Bottom line, Bauer dug deep when he needed to, and was able to limit the damage. That ability to halt big innings and keep his composure on the mound is a rare attribute.
In the end, Bauer showed his youth and inexperience. He showed that the Indians were right to assign him to the minors to open the season. There will continue to be some growing pains with him as the season progresses and whenever he is inserted into the Indians rotation full time.
But if Bauers true talents show as expected, he has a chance to be one of the next big time young pitchers in the game - and hopefully a Cleveland Indian for a long time.
BEST OF MAXIM
It was announced following the game and first reported by WTAM’s Mark Schwab that Indians centerfielder Michael Bourn received five stitches in his right index finger after pitcher Matt Thornton stepped on his hand on a bang-bang play at first base in the 8th innning where Bourn slid head first and beat the throw.
Bourn accounted for the team’s only run of the game, taking the...
Every year in the Major Leagues, some players jump out in the early part of the season and astound us in small sample size wonder. This year, John Buck and Chris Davis have been pretty astounding. And yet, when a position player jumps way out ahead of his normal stats, we expect regression. Pitchers sometimes get more of a pass. But what about the case of Justin Masterson, the...
Some news, notes, and thoughts from my Indians notebook…
Carrasco lacks mental toughness
Right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco has been a high profile starting pitching prospect for a long time. Before the Indians picked him up from the Phillies in July of 2009 in a deal for Cliff Lee he had been one of the Phillies’ top prospects for several years.
But for as talented as Carrasco...
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is out of the lineup for Cleveland's game against Chicago with a sore left elbow.
Manager Terry Francona expects Kipnis, who is batting .125, to return for Sunday's series finale against the White Sox. Kipnis was bothered by a sore right elbow in spring training. Ryan Raburn is starting at second base.
Catcher Carlos Santana was in the...
Michael Bourn's finger is stitched and splinted.
It's better, but not well enough to keep the Indians center fielder from going on the 15-day disabled list.
Manager Terry Francona said the plan is to put Bourn on the DL in coming days. The leadoff hitter cut his right index finger on Sunday when he dived into first base and got stepped on by White Sox pitcher Matt Thornton...
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (Columbus, SP) - 2.1, 3 H, 3 R (all earned), 5 BB, 4 K - A rough home opening night for Dice-K in his second outing of the season. While this follows up an okay outing...
Indians outfielder Michael Bourn is going to miss several games after receiving five stitches to close a cut on his right index finger.
Bourn was injured in the eighth inning when his hand was stepped on by pitcher Matt Thornton while making a headfirst slide into first base during Cleveland's 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Bourn had hit a slow grounder that was...
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Nick Swisher's two-out RBI single in the ninth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a 1-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday.
Michael Bourn started the rally with a one-out double off Jesse Crain (0-1). Bourn's blooper landed near the left field line and he beat the throw to second base. After Asdrubal Cabrera's groundout moved Bourn to third, Crain...
One of the key plays in this afternoon’s 9-4 Tribe victory over the White Sox was Mark Reynolds’s grand slam with nobody out that extended the Indians’ lead to 7-2 in the fifth inning. On the very next pitch, Sox starter Chris Sale drilled Michael Brantley, and both benches were warned as a result. Sale was chased from the game that inning, but he explained to our Scott Sargent...
CLEVELAND — Another dangerous pitch has Carlos Carrasco in trouble again.
The Cleveland Indians pitcher was suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball on Friday for “intentionally throwing” at New York’s Kevin Youkilis, the right-hander’s second penalty in two years for aiming at a hitter.
Carrasco had just completed serving a five-game suspension for a fastball...
The Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees will play a traditional doubleheader on May 13 at Progressive Field.
The doubleheader, which will begin at 12:05 p.m., became necessary when the April 10-11 games in Cleveland were postponed by rain. The May 13 date is one of the few mutual off-days for the two teams. The Indians play in Detroit on May 12 and begin a series in Philadelphia...
Chris Sale has had his way with the Indians in the past. The left-handed may be all arms and legs, but the young bullpen arm turned starter made easy work of the previously left-handed heavy Tribe. In the offseason, the Tribe not only added more speed and power, but they added several right handed hitters for a better balanced lineup. Yesterday, with Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana...
It was Tuesday night. Carlos Carrasco and the Indians were getting pounded by the Bronx Bombers for the second straight evening, and the Cavaliers had blown a 20-point fourth quarter lead against the Pacers. It was a “woe is us” type of night on Twitter, and this writer’s body defensively put itself into sleep mode shortly before both games, missing the...