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3.20.2013

Bauer Hits Wall Against Angels; May Be Out of Rotation Race

Nino Colla | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

ANGELS - 6 | INDIANS - 5
[BOXSCORE]

I think the Indians rotation competition got a little clearer after the Cactus League affair against the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday afternoon.
Photo - Chuck Crow via Cleveland.com

Trevor Bauer got the start and after two quiet innings, was looking really good. Then he got to the third and things just got out of hand.

"He got a third inning where he threw so many pitches, we really weren't comfortable letting him go back out," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He had good velocity and good life on his arm, and a good changeup. But there's still some inconsistencies, but I think that's to be expected."

Bauer was scheduled to go five innings, but his third inning became too long and the 33 pitches pretty much had him working to the point where the Indians really did not want him going back out. He is in no ways behind in building up, but rather clearly showing some signs of things he needs to fix.

And that isn't a bad thing. Bauer came into camp wanting to change some things mechanics-wise to avoid injuries and he knows full well that it may take him some time to get to where he waats.

"It's just been kind of tough getting to a place where I feel fully healthy where I can actually work on it. So coming into Spring Training, I finally feel fully healthy, but when you're trying to overwrite 10 years of neuromuscular programming in four or five weeks, that makes it a little bit tough."

Probably the first time I've ever heard the word neuromuscular, ever. And probably the biggest word I've ever heard an athlete use. What is he, a doctor?

Anyway, Bauer's chances are looking slim and I think that is the best for everyone right now. Perhaps he'd even agree. It would make much more sense to bring him up when he's showing some consistency and has clearly done what he's needed to do at Triple A, while also giving a guy like Scott Kazmir a chance.

Of course Bauer may not be Kazmir's biggest threat, but he probably has the most compelling reason to get a spot in the rotation. Yet the reasons not to, may be just more compelling, especially after four runs in three innings off five hits and three walks. 

Bullpen Race: Also pitching were David HuffNick HagadoneVinnie Pestano, and Matt Albers. Looking like David Huff's chances are slipping even further away after he gave up a pair of runs off two hits and a walk.

While Nick Hagadone and Matt Albers certainly did what they needed to do to state their cases. Hagadone, as noted by Francona, can be unhittable if he's on and he was on against the Angels with a pair of strikeouts in 1+ innings of work. Albers struck out one in a scoreless frame. The bullpen race could go anyway at this point.

Chiz in the Hall: Um, damn. Is there anyone that I could be more excited to see get the season underway for than Lonnie Chisenhall? Save Nick SwisherMichael Bourn, all the new adds. I cannot wait to see Lonnie Chisenhall get out there for real. 

He hit his fourth home run of the spring against the Angels and was 2-for-3 on the day. He now has 12 RBI on the spring and I simply cannot wait to see what the guy is going to do this year. He'll most definitely be breaking out in my opinion.

The Rest: Michael Brantley also knocked in a pair of runs and was 3-for-3 with a run scored and his fifht double of the spring. And still gunning for a spot and not giving up is Cord Phelps, who also doubled and was 2-for-3 on the day with a run scored.

Next Game: The Indians travel to Scottsdale for a game against Arizona. Carlos Carrasco goes as the starter, bullpen contender Bryan Shaw getting in some time.

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