When general manager Chris Antonetti acquired Trevor Bauer in last offseason’s Shin-Soo Choo trade, some — including me — heralded the right-hander as the present and future ace of the Cleveland rotation.
Clearly that did not go according to plan.
Bauer struggled from the get-go as he underwent a change to his pitching mechanics and brought the phrase “neuromuscular programming” into our lexicon. The right-hander pitched poorly during his brief callups in 2013, posting a 5.29 ERA, a 7.05 FIP, and 11:16 SO:BB in 17.0 innings. The results in the minors — a 4.15 ERA, a 5.08 FIP, and 106:73 SO:BB in 121.1 innings — did not inspire confidence either.
Considering that Bauer turns 23 years old later this month, I still think the right-hander has a very high upside. After all, he was a consensus top-10 prospect in all of baseball per Baseball America before 2012 and a consensus top-15 prospect in all of baseball per Baseball America before 2013. Bauer was IBI’s #2 prospect before 2013 — only behind Francisco Lindor — due to his three above-average pitches (fastball, curveball, and slider) and his proximity to the majors.
But that does not take away from how poorly Bauer pitched in 2013.
From Indians Baseball Insider, January 6, 2014