Indians option Trevor Bauer back to Triple-A Columbus

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As expected, the Indians have optioned right-hander Trevor Bauer back to Triple-A Columbus following his spot start on Saturday night vs. the Rays. Carlos Carrasco has been reinstated from suspension and will join the Indians’ rotation early this week.

Bauer allowed three earned runs on two hits and seven walks Saturday in five innings at Tampa Bay. It was his fifth major league start. Cleveland lost 6-0.

Bauer was acquired from the Diamondbacks this offseason as part of a three-team, nine-player trade. The 22-year-old posted a 2.42 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 157/61 K/BB ratio in 130 1/3 innings last summer between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno.

Baseball America considers Bauer the 14th-best prospect in the game.

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.