There’s really no other way to say it, I guess. The Indians are ruining one of the top pitching prospects in the game, the supposed crown jewel that was to become the defining moment in Chris Antonetti’s career as General Manager.
Trevor Bauer is no longer Trevor Bauer.
He’s a wreck — both mentally and physically. And, frankly, it’s a slow moving train barring down those creaky tracks of failed superstardom, heading directly for the uncompleted bridge barely spanning half of a cavernous valley below. This isn’t going to end well. Not at all. Not unless the Tribe starts furiously pumping the breaks.
Bauer’s latest debacle on Friday night — 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 6 H — is cause for enough concern. But it was the right-hander’s spot on impersonation of closer-turned-starter Danny Graves: pitching from the stretch the entire game, however short it may have been.
By now everyone’s aware of both Bauer’s vast potential — he’s punched out nearly 11 batters per nine innings in his minor league career — but also his bouts of wildness, particularly at the major league level. The former Bruin has made eight big league starts, five of those he’s issued at least four free passes. All of which has led to a higher walk (7.8 BB/9) than strikeout (7.6 K/9) rate.
His problems, of course, aren’t limited to just big league competition: he’s averaged a whopping five free passes every nine innings during his time in Columbus this year too.
And, yet, the Indians have continued the ridiculous yo-yo pattern of calling Bauer up for a spot start and then pushing him back down to Triple-A.
He’s 22-years-old, blessed with one of the better right arms in the minors, and his head is so messed up he didn’t feel comfortable enough to pitch out of the windup as a starting pitcher. Starting. Pitcher.
The kid needs to clear his head, find himself, and workout whatever issues that seem to be plaguing him, either physical or mental. And he doesn’t need to be doing it at the game’s most competitive level, especially not with the added pressure of a potential playoff spot within a reasonable grasp.
He’s 22-years-old, not 26. What’s the rush?
The Cardinals continue to act like a well-oiled machine when it comes to player development by placing guys in the best scenarios to succeed when they are ready. The Indians are doing neither right now. Instead, they’re mimicking a fellow AL Central foe: the Kansas City Royals. And that train is chugging right along, slowly picking up speed as it rhythmically bounces down those tracks.
For prospect analysis check out Joe’s site: ProspectDigest.com