Bauer's command struggles lead to 8-3 loss
Velocity back for Bauer, but control's not there against Angels
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 Hagadone, Mike Zagurski, Blake Wood, Colt 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 Lindor, Tyler Naquin, Carlos Moncrief, Jesus 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.
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.
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?