After a tumultuous off-season that saw him traded from the team that drafted him, Trevor Bauer will have a legitimate shot to make the Cleveland Indians rotation, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Bauer was run out of Arizona and traded for a fraction of his value earlier this winter after rubbing his teammates the wrong way in his rookie season in 2012.
With his unique warm-up routines, extended bullpens and reserved personality, Bauer didn't make many friends with his Diamondbacks teammates, especially catcher Miguel Montero, who came out this week and told reporters about his strained relationship with the enigmatic rookie.
It was thought that the Indians might want to send Bauer back to Triple-A to refine his approach after making just 14 starts at the level on his way through the Diamondbacks system, but the Indians will give Bauer every chance to make their big league starting rotation. The Indians have plenty of pitching depth in camp this spring, with Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson and Brett Myers locked into the top three spots in the rotation, but Zach McAllister, Bauer, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Scott Kazmir, Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber all competing for the final two spots.
Bauer it the most talented pitcher of the group and has the highest ceiling, but he also has the least major league experience. Given his struggles last season in the majors, which were largely due to his tentative approach towards major league hitters, more time in the minors to work on attacking the zone with his fastball more effectively could be just what Bauer needs. Still, since his failures were mainly mental instead of physical, it could be something he works out in camp.
Bauer is going to be given every chance to make the Indians starting rotation this spring, and assuming the Indians are more accepting of his unique styles and approach than the Diamondbacks were, he could have a good chance of heading north with them at the end of March.