Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 7/19/12

Trevor Bauer’s first tour of duty in the big leagues is officially over as the Arizona Diamondbacks shipped the 21-year-old right-hander back to Triple-A Reno on Wednesday. The move came a day after the worst of Bauer’s four starts in the majors.

On Tuesday night he lasted only three innings in a 4-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. He walked five, threw two wild pitches, had an error on a pickoff throw and gave up a titanic blast of a three-run home run to Ryan Ludwick. The Reds also stole two bases off him, and he has had problems keeping runners from taking off on him so far.

While the No. 3 pick from the 2011 MLB Draft came up with a ton of hype, he didn’t perform up to expectations. In his four starts he pitched 16.1 innings and allowed 14 hits, 13 runs (11 earned) and two home runs, while totaling 17 strikeouts and 13 walks. He currently has a 1-2 record with a 6.06 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

To be fair, Bauer was the first player from the 2011 draft class to reach the majors and he’s only 21. There is plenty of time for him to fix things and bounce back. But he did look a bit overwhelmed for a guy most experts thought would step in and be able to compete right away.

His fastball velocity wasn’t as good as I had expected and while he clearly has good stuff, I think he tips his off-speed pitches just a bit. If he can sort those issues out and prove that his delivery won’t hurt his arm over time, I think he’ll be fine long-term.

I watched three of his starts personally and wasn’t terribly impressed. He threw very well against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 8, but other than that I didn’t see him as the kind of game-changing talent some had billed him to be.

But, again, he’s only 21 and has plenty of time to figure things out.

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