Trevor Bauer is back up with the Indians to start Game 1 of today’s doubleheader, but as usual with Bauer it may only be a short stay in the majors.
Acquired this offseason in the three-team blockbuster trade with the Diamondbacks and Reds, the former No. 3 overall pick will be making his eighth career start in the majors. This year at Triple-A he’s racked up 67 strikeouts in 65 innings, but Bauer has also walked 5.0 batters per nine innings, served up nine homers, and posted a 4.13 ERA that’s right around the International League average of 4.18. In other words, he hasn’t been very impressive.
Bauer is still just 22 years old and his electric raw stuff remains, but he’s made zero progress with his awful control. In addition to all the free passes at Triple-A he’s also walked 28 batters in 32.2 innings as a big leaguer, although today at least the one thing in Bauer’s favor is that the White Sox have drawn the fewest walks in the American League.
It’s tied 2-2, but if you’re like most people you have feelings about who has an edge.
Maybe you’re a “momentum” person and you like the Cubs’ current vibe because they scored a bunch last night. Maybe you’re a “momentum is your next day’s starting pitcher” guy, and you prefer either Jon Lester or Kenta Maeda. Or maybe you’re playing chess with all of this and thinking a couple of moves ahead. As in “yes, the Cubs have an advantage tonight because Lester is better than Maeda, but if they DON’T win tonight they’re screwed because then they have to face Kershaw and Hill in Games 6 and 7.”
I dunno. I find all of that rather exhausting. Let’s just watch and see what happens. Here’s who will be doing the happening:
1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
5. Javier Baez (R) 2B
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Addison Russell (R) SS
8. David Ross (R) C
9. Jon Lester (L) LHP
1. Kiké Hernández (R) 2B
2. Justin Turner (R) 3B
3. Corey Seager (L) SS
4. Carlos Ruiz (R) C
5. Howie Kendrick (R) LF
6. Adrian González (L) 1B
7. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
8. Joc Pederson (L) CF
9. Kenta Maeda (R) RHP
Indians starter Trevor Bauer said he expects his sliced right pinkie to heal in time for the World Series.
Bauer, of course, is a drone hobbyist and hurt his finger while fixing a drone. By the time he’ll have to pitch again he will have had nine days since his last, bloody start in ALCS Game 3. Yesterday he said “I’ll be ready to pitch in the World Series whenever they need me. I’m doing everything I can and I’ll be back out there for sure.”
Bauer reportedly suggested that Indians trainers cauterize his finger on Monday. They declined. Which is something Bauer should probably thank them for.