I have a question for Arizona Diamondback fans regarding a certain pitching phenom named Trevor Bauer. Do you keep him on track to become a starting pitcher by having him begin the season at Class AAA Reno? Or, do you want him with the big club right now as a member of the bullpen? Or, do you want to have him start the season as a member of the Arizona rotation? The biggest dilemma in camp might just be what to do with the number 1 draft pick.
It seems that the starting rotation is set with Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders, Trevor Cahill and Josh Collmenter ready to take the ball every fifth day. It would also appear that the bullpen led by J.J. Putz is all set at the moment. The D-Backs are probably so deep in pitching right now that there may not be a choice but to have the young righty start at Triple A. However, it is hard to ignore Bauer’s immense talent and maturity that is uncommon for a 21-year old. There could be the temptation to bump Collmenter out of the rotation to make room for Bauer. On the bullpen side, Joe Patterson, Bryan Shaw or newly signed Takashi Saito could be the odd man out in the numbers game. These are the types of decisions that make Managers happy and nervous at the same time.
I would lean on the side of having Trevor Bauer begin the season in the rotation at Reno. You know there will be an injury or two and Bauer should be the first guy up, either in the rotation or bullpen. If it is the bullpen, there is precedent for starting pitchers that were high draft picks to start their big league careers in the bullpen. The Tampa Bay Rays used David Price in that capacity and made the 2008 World Series. The decision of what to do with Bauer is a “problem” every other Major League club would love to have.
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