As expected Trevor Bauer’s latest call-up was short-lived, as the Indians demoted the top prospect back to Triple-A after he threw five shutout innings against the Phillies last night in a spot start.
Bauer was very tough to hit and flashed dominant raw stuff, but walked six of the 21 batters he faced and needed 93 pitches to record 15 outs. All of which is basically the story of his career at this point (along with rapping badly and the Diamondbacks souring on him almost immediately).
Bauer has held big-league hitters to a .185 batting average through six starts, racking up 24 strikeouts in 26.1 innings, but he’s also handed out 26 walks in those 26.1 frames. In the minors the former No. 3 overall pick has walked 4.1 per nine innings, including 41 walks in 100 innings at Triple-A. Bauer has No. 1 starter upside and plenty of time to reach it at age 22, but the inability to throw the ball over the plate is keeping him from sticking in the majors.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.