Indians call up Trevor Bauer for another spot start

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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.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.