This month we are covering the top 25 Cleveland Indians from the 2018 season. Today we’re covering an underrated pitcher who had his season cut too short.
It was tough to decide who would land at this spot on the list. The Cleveland Indians had several great pitchers that could be in this spot. But after thinking it over, it was clear to me. Despite having his potential Cy Young season cut short, Trevor Bauer was arguably as valuable as anyone for this Indians team.
Bauer was among the best pitchers in the league for the entirety of 2018. He had career years in most major pitching stats including a 2.21 ERA, 6.1 WAR, and a remarkable 11.34 strikeouts per nine innings.
But to really explain how great Bauer’s season was, you have to go deeper. Why? Because Bauer goes deeper with his own numbers. The reason I love the guy is that he knows how good he is and will happily explain it to you on twitter.
A top Indians player on the field and on Twitter. Despite the remarkable season, Bauer didn’t finish as a finalist for the Cy Young award. He took to Twitter on that note, but we could make a whole article on Trevor Bauer tweets. (We already have).
Bauer missed the final month of the season, effectively ending his Cy Young contention. But he was among the best in the AL since the start of the year. He was posting numbers better than that of Chris Sale and Justin Verlander. It even felt like he outperformed his own teammate Corey Kluber at times.
Bauer also made it clear this year that he’ll only be signing one-year contracts from here on out. He explained so by saying he’d take a paintball to the groin if he signed a multi-year deal. So I assume we can take his word for it.
There is also the potential that Trevor Bauer will be moved this offseason (a sentiment he doesn’t agree with) so we might not have the pleasure of watching him another year. What better time to have the best year of your career if you’re Bauer?
His ability to strike out hitters in 2018 made him a force, but he also had such a great year because of his ability to avoid the long ball. Bauer allowed less than one home run a game, something the Indians need more of in the future.
For Bauer, things look like they’ll get better. If he’s going through with that one-year deal plan, he’d better hope so. I wouldn’t want to see my groin splattered with paint nor take the pain that comes with it. But I’d love to see a few more years of Bauer in Cleveland.