With a week of baseball filed away, Justin Upton is playing extremely well and making the Arizona Diamondbacks look foolish in trading him. Trevor Bauer is doing the exact opposite, after the 22-year-old made his American League debut with the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.
An interesting decision by the organization considering Bauer didn't make the team out of spring training, instead being sent down to the minor leagues. But with Scott Kazmir landing on the disabled list, Cleveland suddenly needed a spot-start and called upon Bauer to give them one instead of throwing for their Triple-A affiliate in Columbus.
So, Bauer faced the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. The former No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft walked seven batters in five innings while striking out two and, thanks to good fortune, allowed just three runs on two hits. It could should have been a lot worse than that, but the Rays made two outs at the plate and couldn't further capitalize on Bauer's struggles.
The former Diamondback struggled mightily out of the gate, walking the very first four batters he faced before getting James Loney to pop out. Then this happened:
Bauer is very open when it comes to his pitching philosophy, such as how he warms up for a start. Well, another unique thing he did during Saturday's game is move around the rubber, as noted by Tommy Rancel (@TRancel) on Twitter.
If the batter is right-handed, Bauer would pitch from the first base side of the rubber. If the batter is left-handed, he would pitch from the third base side of the rubber. In a larger sense, this means Bauer is working on perfecting two different release points per outing. Quite the tall task, especially with someone who is already struggling with command.
Ignoring the results, the plan had been to send Trevor Bauer back to the minor leagues after his spot-start. He remains one of the more intriguing pitchers to follow given his unorthodox style and quality of pitches, but the question remains if he can put it all together at the major league level.