It’s hard being tossed aside. Most of you readers out there that just got shot down asking out their valentine can attest (I was not among you, but I’ve had my fair share). You wonder, “what’s wrong with me? Why didn’t they want me?” Trevor Bauer understands your hurts; he understands your pains.
When he isn’t spitting hot bars for podcasts, he is constantly learning new ways and techniques he can be a better pitcher. Our own Nicholas Blazek covered this here and I highly recommend reading it, so I won’t bore you with those details in this piece, but the gist is this: dude is way smarter than you or I.
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This constant tinkering with his mechanics and his ever evolving work out routines led the team that drafted him, the Arizona Diamondbacks, to sour on him almost immediately and ship him to Cleveland in the winter of 2012/2013 to a city where he has found the love. He has seen his ups and downs since becoming a member of the Indians but found his groove late in 2014. He finished the year with a 5-8 record, a 4.18 ERA, 4.01 FIP and a 8.4 K/9 that was a full three strikeouts better than the year before.
Bauer figures to start out the season with a rotation spot locked up, mostly due to the fact that he is out of options, but also because he proved he can be a viable major league starter. Where he pitches in the rotation is to be decided, but it is probable he comes out of spring training as the 4th starter behind Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, the impressive Carlos Carrasco who came through last year down the stretch, and free agent signee Gavin Floyd.
Projections for a Bauer season are a mixed bag. Across 30 starts, Streamers has Trevor projected to finish with a 10-12 record and a 4.63 ERA with 164 strikeouts that would be a career high. Projections are based on past results with an eye to the future, but with an upgraded defense behind Bauer all season (Jose Ramirez thankfully replaced Asdrubal Cabrera halfway through the year and figures to start until Francisco Lindor is ready), his numbers should see an increase.
Trevor is his own worst enemy. Sometimes his tinkering can be too much and cause other problems to grow or become worse. We can only hope that he continues to feel the love from Terry Francona and Mickey Calloway and pitches the way everyone knows he can.