The Indians have a double-header today, and have called up right-handed pitching prospect Trevor Bauer to throw the second game, according to Dennis Manoloff of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. There is no word yet on whether or not Bauer will be sent back to Triple-A Columbus after the game or if he will remain with the team, but without an open spot in the rotation, it seems likely that Bauer is in Cleveland just for the day.
Bauer has had a tumultuous start to his professional career, having already, at 23 years old, gone through a trade and a complete re-tooling of his mechanics. Known for his stubbornness, extreme long-toss regimen and unique view on pitching, Bauer was once thought of by some organizations to be a better prospect than his UCLA teammate and current Pirates stud Gerrit Cole. The Diamondbacks selected him third overall in 2011 (two picks after Cole went first overall), but quickly soured on him, flipping him for pennies on the dollar just a year-and-a-half later for light-hitting Didi Gregorius.
Bauer's biggest flaw to this point has been his ability to throw strikes, or perhaps his willingness. Bauer's refusal to attack hitters, instead nibbling around the strike zone with a variety of pitches worked in college and in the minors, but has failed against major league hitters. To his credit, Bauer completely changed his mechanics this off-season in order to help him attack the strike zone more efficiently. In his only start this season, Buaer walked two hitters in six innings of work, striking out nine.
Today's start will be a good test for Bauer. Focus not on the result, but rather the way he goes about his business. In his previous major league starts, Bauer failed to attack hitters, putting himself in trouble before the hitters could do their damage. Regardless of his final line, if he attacks hitters and throws strikes, it will signal that he is at least working on making the proper changes towards becoming a more effective hitter.
The Indians don't have a spot for Bauer in their rotation right now, but spots open up throughout the year for every team. For Bauer, this is a chance to prove that he's a different pitcher than the one the Indians have seen in the past, and is an audition for more starts later in the year.