|Trevor Bauer was moved to the bullpen to start the regular|
Bauer had a good spring, but manager Terry Francona felt that his control issues were serious enough to make a move. It is unknown how long Bauer will be in this new role.
This situation is reminiscent to that of Carlos Carrasco in 2013 and 2014 when he was moved to the bullpen. The move was made because Carrasco was inconsistent in the starting rotation due to the inaccuracy of his pitches.
After spending parts of two seasons in the bullpen, Carrasco returned to the starting rotation and has since become one of the best young pitchers in baseball.
The idea of this is to move the young pitcher into a less stressful environment and give him time to work out his kinks. Bauer, like Carrasco, will be used in a mid inning role, either in mid or long relief.
After leading Major League Baseball in walks last season, Bauer knew he had his work cut out this spring. Most believed that it was a sure thing that Bauer would be the four man in the rotation. As the spring continued, there were rumors surrounding Indians camp that Bauer could be moved to the five spot, but he was ultimately removed from the rotation.
While a Carrasco-type rebirth is not guaranteed, it is possible. The Indians have a great pitching coach in Micky Callaway who has been able to turn the Indians rotation into one of the best in baseball, and produce some of the best bullpen arms in the league.
What is different between Carrasco's situation and Bauer's is that Bauer is unlikely to spend as much time in the bullpen. While it is possible, both Anderson and Tomlin are big question marks at the back end of the rotation. If one struggles, most believe that Bauer would move back into that role. TJ House could also be a possibility for this spot, but it is unlikely.
If the back end of the rotation holds out and pitches well, Bauer's spot on the team could remain changed for a good part of the season, depending on what Francona and Callaway have planned.
Changing the dominant four to the dominant three was a highly questionable move by Francona, but it certainly has the chances to work out very well in the long run. If Bauer can turn around his past struggles, the Indians rotation could become better than it already is.
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