The Cleveland Indians are a new-look team with big aspirations going into the 2013 season, and team GM Chris Antonetti and new manager Terry Francona are hoping to instill a renewed optimism and competitiveness with the ball club in Spring Training.
That goes doubly for the team’s starting rotation, where only Justin Masterson, Brett Myers, and Ubaldo Jiminez will have a job – and even with a clean slate, you can imagine Ubaldo’s hold on his spot could get very tenuous, very quickly if things don’t get off to a good start.
What that means, of course, is that there’s at least a couple of job opportunities up for grabs – and it’s something that Trevor Bauer aims to have by the time Opening Day comes around.
Lucking for him, his bosses feel the same way.
The 22-year old will be given “every opportunity” in Spring Training to win a spot in the rotation, as Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Neither Antonetti or Franconca have said anything to suggest otherwise, with the GM noting that they will simply be looking for the best pitchers in camp, and “if Trevor is one of those guys,” the team will make the corresponding decision.
Bauer will be coming in with something to prove too, after the former third-overall pick struggled, particularly with his command, in his first taste of the bigs with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012. It was just a brief, four start experiment in the Summer, but Bauer did not make it out of the fifth inning in all but one of his starts, walking 13 batters in 16.1 innings.
The one outing where Bauer did last, though, was a gem that saw him give up just two hits and a walk through six, while collecting six strikeouts.
The righty has a reputation of being a particularly cerebral player, and there is little doubt that the Tribe’s top pitching prospect has done his fair share of pore over the details of what went so wrong with the three starts, and what went so right with the one. He’ll look to apply those findings as he sets his sights on taking advantage of the opportunity that will be given to him to win a job with the Indians in 2013.
But before that, Bauer wants answer to his critics.
In particular, his former catcher with the Diamondbacks, Miguel Montero, who had some rather unkind words to say about the righty, which can be largely summed up as “Bauer was a know-it-all who wouldn’t listen.”
Turns out, Bauer did listen, and he may have delivered what he considers to be an appropriate response…in rap.
Depending on who you are, Bauer dropping rhymes like “You hide behind a mask to facilitate a task/but you don’t know me (huh)/You won’t know me.” might either be the best or the worst thing ever. Personally, I’d like to think it’s both at the same time.
Your move, Miguel.