Indians Give Starting Pitcher Trevor Bauer a Fresh Start
During his stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks, starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was perceived as "stubborn" and "uncoachable" due to his aloofness.
However, Bauer clarified that he was simply misunderstood, saying he has yet to develop his social and interpersonal skills.
"I didn't have a lot of friends growing up," Bauer said. "I had a lot of free time. Instead of going to the movies with friends, I'd be up at the park working out. Everybody would be talking about the movie they saw. Well, I couldn't be a part of that conversation."
"I'm still learning how to fit into a social setting," he added. "I'm not comfortable in large groups of people. It's tough in baseball, because you walk into a clubhouse and there's a large group. How do I fit in? I didn't learn that in high school. I'm still trying to learn it. It's something I need to improve on."
When he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in a three-team, nine-player deal last month, Bauer has been given a fresh start and a chance to improve on his social skills, something that he failed to do with the Diamondbacks.
Bauer is currently taking part in the Indians' winter development program, an acclimation environment for some of their prized minor leaguers.
The program has inspired Bauer to reach out to several of his D-backs teammates who were rubbed the wrong way by his aloofness and ask them where he went wrong.
Despite the negative traits attached to his name, the Indians are willing to give Bauer a chance to show the stuff that made him the third overall pick in the 2011 draft and earned him a $3.4 million signing bonus from the Diamondbacks.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona were impressed by Bauer's work ethic and talent when they observed the pitcher performing his throwing program at Ron Wolforth's Texas Baseball Ranch and his conditioning routine at Dynamic Sports Training.
"Bauer works very hard and is committed to being the best pitcher that he can be," Antonetti said.
Bauer had command issues both at Triple-A (61 walks in 130 1/3 innings) and with the Diamondbacks (13 walks in 16 1/3 innings) but that was attributed to a groin injury that hounded him much of the year.
If his command issues are resolved, then Bauer is expected to join the Indians' rotation together with Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson.
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