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Bauer's command struggles lead to 8-3 loss

Velocity back for Bauer, but control's not there against Angels

Bauer's command struggles lead to 8-3 loss
Danny Salazar (Photo: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer)
March 10, 2014
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Goodyear, AZ- Trevor Bauer needed to impress on Monday following Josh Tomlin's performance on Sunday, but he struggled mightily through his two innings, leading to an 8-3 loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  With the race for the fifth spot in the Indians rotation heating up, Bauer's stock may have dropped a bit due to issues that have plagued him throughout his short career. 

The righty, who was acquired prior to the 2013 season from the Arizona Diamondbacks, fell behind early and often to opposing hitters, registering just five first-pitch strikes to the 15 batters he faced.  When he did get ahead in the count, Bauer often missed his spots or allowed hitters to stick around by fouling pitches off, leading to seven hits and two walks. 

Bauer was scheduled to throw three innings in Monday's matinee but was run from the game without recording an out in his third inning of work.  C.J. Cron led off the fifth inning with a hard single to right field and center fielder Collin Cowgill immediately followed with a towering home run to left field.  The next batter, Matt Long, laced a triple to the right-center gap to pull the plug on Bauer.  Overall, Bauer threw two innings, allowing seven hits, two walks, seven runs (six earned), and one strikeout. 

Aside from Bauer, the Indians pitchers performed well, led by starter Danny Salazar.  Salazar, making his Cactus League debut, shook off a bit of rust and didn't finish his scheduled two innings, but looked sharp at times and commanded his off-speed pitches well.  In 1 2/3 innings of work, the righty out of the Dominican Republic surrendered one run on two hits and two walks while striking out two.  Following Bauer's two innings, six Indians pitchers shut the Angels offense down, combining to throw 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball.  Vinnie Pestano worked a perfect sixth inning and looked strong and confident on the mound.  The others -- Nick HagadoneMike ZagurskiBlake WoodColt Hynes, and Preston Guilmet -- allowed a total of five hits and one walk while fanning five batters. 

At the dish for the Tribe, six expected everyday players were in the starting lineup, led by Jason Kipnis, who had a three-hit game.  Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn added a hit apiece, with Brantley adding an RBI and Bourn scoring two runs.  Aside from the regulars, Erik Gonzalez, who logged innings at shortstop for both the Lake County Captains and the Carolina Mudcats in 2013, had the team's only two doubles of the afternoon.  Both balls were hard hit shots, fueled by a strong, compact swing.  Prospects Francisco LindorTyler NaquinCarlos MoncriefJesus Aguilar, and Tony Wolters also made appearances late in the game but went a combined 0-for-5 at the dish. 

For the Angels, Cowgill led the way with the two-run home run.  Matt Long led the team in hits with four, including a double and a triple.  Grant Green added two hits while leadoff hitter Andrew Romine knocked in two runs.  Staff ace Jered Weaver got the nod for the Angels but battled to get through his scheduled five innings.  The righty surrendered five hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.  He allowed three earned runs. 

On Tuesday, the Indians will send Justin Masterson to the hill to square off with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields.  In two appearances in the Cactus League thus far, Masterson sports a 0.00 ERA on four hits and one walk.  First pitch is slated for 1:05 pm ET.

User Comments

Chip
March 11, 2014 - 8:16 PM EDT
Have no fear, Carlos Carrasco is this year's Corey Kluber, maybe better. I'll gladly take the lashing if I'm wrong, but I felt the same way about Kluber last year.
Jimmy
March 11, 2014 - 3:58 PM EDT
It seems that we do have n camp the pitchers that can make our staff pretty good. t seems that Bauer is still a work I progress and I fee Mickey can work with him and he is very young. Its seems that both Carrasco and Tomlin are pitching well. Hey, Tomlin pitched four innings and pretty good. I m glad that Pestano is back and will make our bull pen strong. As for power which we lack, our team will have to be about hit and run and use the assets that we have. I don't think Cruz or Morales would be a good fit, they can only DH and we need more than that. Have patience, the new 2014 Terry's Indians are starting to shape into the Indians of old. Go Tribe!
shy
March 11, 2014 - 11:19 AM EDT
Bauer has mental/emotional eccentricities. The Indians knew that when they got him, which is why they tried to get Tyler Skaggs in the deal- sometimes these guys work out for awhile i.e. Bo Belinski, Mark Fidrych, Bill Spaceman. Lee, Oil Can Boyd, but usually they're kind of bipolar and the bottoms are ugly. Every successful pitcher has a strong authoritative personality that becomes his hallmark. Think of Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson, Bob Gibson. Even softer tossers like Greg Maddux and Josh Tomlin and specialty cats like R.A. Dickey have strong identities and approaches that carry over from one start to the next, one season to the next. Bauer is searching for his identity and my fear is that he may be one of those people who is unable to find himself. I think they need to go back to his coaches at UCLA and find out what made him tick and try to get back to it. Maybe he needs structure, maybe he needs meds, maybe he needs religion, a puppy or a girlfriend. I don't know. But I think at this point he needs an intervention.
Walter
March 11, 2014 - 10:09 AM EDT
Joseph

I am assuming you were the #1 fan of Jimenez back in 2012 when he lost 17 games and could not find the strike zone. I bet you were not. I bet you were leading the charge for the Indians to DFA him. I bet back then you call the Jimenez trade a bust. I bet this time last year you thought the Indians were wasting there time giving Kazmir a chance to resurrect his career.

I think I figured you out. You are the most happiest when the Indians lose or something bad happens.
Joe Chengery
March 11, 2014 - 3:46 AM EDT
Joseph,

Read the other thread on why it's too early to give up on Bauer, and why the Indians won't.

Also, Carrasco's arm injury was nearly three seasons ago- that wasn't the issue last year- regaining his command and confidence was.

As for Tomlin, remains to be seen, but being that a five starter doesn't normally log as many innings, plus the fact that Tomlin's strongest attribute is command, Tomlin's command may come back quicker than most.

And, this team had virtually no power last year, yet was still one of the better offensive clubs in the AL, even with down years from Bourn, Swisher, Cabrera, and I'd even argue, Kipnis (read the middle infielder thread for more on that topic). Plus, as was mentioned before, who do you get?

Cruz? The guy who just got signed because there was major concern whether he can come close to the production after being exposed in the BioGenesis scandal, never mind being a poor outfielder, as bad or worse than Francoeur?

Morales? Besides losing a draft pick, there's questions whether he's the same hitter after he broke his leg, one that took two (or was it three?) years to come back from, to decent, but hardly Earth-shattering, numbers?

Who did you want the Indians to get, especially considering there were no notable offensive upgrades, and the Indians didn't have much money to work with? Who?
Joseph Devito
March 11, 2014 - 2:38 AM EDT
They should finally admit..the Bauer trade was a bust. He cannot get the ball over the plate. They have put themselves in a box by losing Jimenez and Kasmir. And both Carrasco and Tomlin coming off of arm injuries are not the answer either. That will become clear as we enter the season. Add the fact that they STILL didn't bring in a middle of the order hitter and it all spells a drop in the standings. We can already see this spring the" punch and judy" type hitting we are going to get this year. translation,,,NO POWER.
Joe
March 10, 2014 - 11:53 PM EDT
It was the first game Salazar has pitched since the wild card game and has been held back all spring by the coaching staff. Today was a good day for Danny to face live hitters and work on his arsenal. The coaching staff should take off Salazar's spring restrictions and let him work. He will be ready for the season. Bauer is only 23 and should start the season leading the Columbus rotation. Depth with arms is problem I'll gladly take.
Rusty
March 10, 2014 - 11:43 PM EDT
In the annals of the written word there is Frost, Hemingway, Hathworne.....and Rob Fuller
Walter
March 10, 2014 - 11:42 PM EDT
Its still early, but is Pestano showing signs of 2011/12 pitcher? Blake Wood also making pitch to become part of the bullpen this year.

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