Indians demote Trevor Bauer to the bullpen

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Trevor Bauer got off to a nice start this season, at which point many people figured the former top prospect and No. 3 overall pick had turned a corner in his career and was ready to emerge as a front-line starter for the Indians.

That didn’t happen–not even close, in fact–and today the Indians announced that Bauer has been demoted to the bullpen.

Bauer tossed seven shutout innings against the Cubs on June 16, at which point he had a 3.22 ERA and 87/37 K/BB ratio in 81 innings while holding opponents to a .209 batting average.

Since then he’s got a 6.10 ERA in 87 innings, although his 83/39 K/BB ratio isn’t that far off from what he did during the first couple months of the season. The biggest change for Bauer has been serving up 16 homers in those 87 innings, which mixes especially badly with his always shaky control.

Bauer is still just 24 years old and his raw stuff is legit–he throws hard and has 336 strikeouts in 354 career innings–but his bad control and overall inconsistency have been incredibly frustrating from a development standpoint and it’s possible the Indians could look to trade him this offseason.