On the heels of a report earlier this week that the Diamondbacks were listening to offers for Trevor Bauer because he “fell out of favor” with some members of the organization, team president Derrick Hall told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com yesterday that the young right-hander isn’t being shopped.
Hall acknowledged that Bauer made some mistakes during his rookie season, but he also praised him for reaching out to several teammates and members of the front office this offseason in an effort to make amends.
“He realizes he made mistakes, and I applaud that,” Hall said to reporters at the club’s Celebrity Golf Classic on Friday. “That shows a tremendous amount of maturity on his part.”
At issue was Bauer’s apparent unwillingness to adapt his style of pitching to major league hitters and his poor communication with catcher Miguel Montero. For what it’s worth, Montero mentioned some communication issues following Bauer’s second major league start. Hall understands why some are getting the impression that Bauer is on the block and there’s always the chance he could be moved since Kevin Towers has a policy where he’s willing to listen on anybody, but the Diamondbacks still consider the 2011 first-round pick an important piece for the future.
“Teams are assuming after the bumpy start that Trevor had that we may be looking to move him, and we are not. We are not shopping him,” Hall said. “Again, if they ask, [GM Kevin Towers’] response is ‘Hey, we are willing to listen,’ and that’s what’s happened here. Trevor has a bright future.”
Bauer, who turns 22 in March, posted a 6.06 ERA and 17/13 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings in four starts with the Diamondbacks this season. He has a 3.00 ERA and 200 strikeouts over 156 innings in the minor leagues.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.