Trevor Bauer to be promoted to Indians Tuesday
Danny Salazar has been demoted to Triple-A and former top prospect Trevor Bauer will take his rotation spot. Also, promising young reliever Kyle Crockett has been promoted as well.
The Indians optioned struggling starting pitcher Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus Friday, and as a corresponding move brought up Kyle Crockett from Double-A Akron. Crockett is a reliever -- and we'll get to him -- so Salazar's rotation spot is still open. And it'll be filled by Trevor Bauer, according to manager Terry Francona (via Jordan Bastian).
Bauer will get the nod Tuesday against Detroit. In his first start of the season, he took the loss but worked six strong innings, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out eight. In seven Triple-A starts this season, Bauer is 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Bauer was the third overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft after Gerrit Cole and Danny Hultzen. He struggled in brief big-league stints in 2012 and 2013, but he's still only 23 years old and has shown much better command this year. There's a decent chance Bauer has a breakout season for the Indians.
Crockett is an intriguing prospect, too. The 22-year-old lefty was drafted in the fourth round last year, meaning he's now made the majors in less than a year, a pretty rare feat. He dominated three levels last season in limited action and has a 0.57 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 17 strikeouts against only three walks in 15 2/3 relief innings this season in Double-A.
As for Salazar, the 24-year-old right-hander has been unable to continue his success from his solid rookie season. Through eight starts, he's 1-4 with a 5.53 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. He still has a high strikeout rate with 47 punchouts in 40 2/3 innings, but opposing hitters carry a .301/.364/.521 line against him. Basically, he's making entire lineups look like All-Star teams. So he'll have a chance to work things out in the minors.
The Indians are 19-22 overall, but they're 8-5 in May. Last season they rebounded from a poor start to make the playoffs and one of the major reasons was the late addition of Scott Kazmir to their rotation. They seem to be looking for a similar jolt from Bauer.