(GOODYEAR, Ariz.) – Trevor Bauer will be the Cleveland Indians starting pitcher when the Tribe opens up their 2014 Cactus League exhibition schedule on Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark. However, that doesn’t mean much when it comes to the fifth-starter competition in the Indians pitching rotation.
Indians manager Terry Francona confirmed on Sunday that Bauer would get the start at 3:05 pm ET against the Cincinnati Reds. The 23-year-old right-hander is scheduled to pitch one inning for the Tribe.
Francona quickly mentioned how Bauer’s upcoming start means nothing more than the day he was simply scheduled to throw.
“(Pitching coach) Mickey [Callaway] and I just sat down and he gave me the names,” Francona said. “[Aaron] Harang is pitching behind him and we hadn’t even signed him the day we went over this.”
Francona was reminded that LHP Giovanni Soto started for the club in last year’s Cactus League opener, showing that the significance of starting that first exhibition game does not mean all that much.
Bauer is competing for a spot in the Indians starting pitching rotation, along with RHP Josh Tomlin, RHP Carlos Carrasco, Harang and RHP Shaun Marcum. Only one spot remains in the starting five behind Justin Masterson, Danny Salazar, Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister (in no particular order).
The Tribe opens up with the Reds for the fourth-straight season, as both teams share Goodyear Ballpark as their home stadium.
Last season Bauer finished 1-2 with an ERA of 5.29. The young right-hander has refined his pitching delivery and is looking to bounce back after a rough 2013 campaign.
Newsradio WTAM 1100 will carry Wednesday’s Cactus League opener at 3:05 pm ET.
- Nick Camino