Indians president says Trevor Bauer could be used out of the bullpen during the playoffs

Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer hasn't pitched since Aug. 11 because of stress fracture in his right fibula. At the time of his injury, he was in the running for the AL Cy Young award with a 2.22 ERA/198 ERA+ and 214 strikeouts in 166 innings. Now the question is whether Bauer will be healthy in time for the postseason and, if so, what role he'll fill. 

On the first point, Bauer threw 40 pitches off a mound over the weekend, which is certainly an encouraging sign, and he'll face hitters early this week. As well, since the Indians have already wrapped up the AL Central title, there's no urgency when it comes to the regular season. On the second point, here's the latest on Bauer's potential playoff role:

Bauer last made a relief appearance in 2017, and overall the 27-year-old has made nine relief appearances across parts of seven big-league seasons. Given his plus fastball velocity, full complement of secondary pitches, and strikeout stuff, Bauer could certainly thrive out of the bullpen. As well, the emergence of Mike Clevinger in addition to the ongoing excellence of Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco means Cleveland has some rotation depth. 

As for the bullpen, it's been a trouble spot for much of the season. The addition of Brad Hand via trade certainly helped matters, but Andrew Miller and Cody Allen haven't been themselves this season for varying reasons. Adding a high-volume reliever with Bauer's stuff would certainly be a boon to the Tribe, especially given that bullpen workloads increase in the playoffs. The first step, though, is getting Bauer game-ready. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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