CLEVELAND - Cleveland Indians officials have held multiple meetings to discuss players who could possibly be recalled from the minor leagues when major league rosters can be expanded in September. General manager Chris Antonetti said the overriding factor in deciding who will or won't be called up next month is whether or not that player could help the Indians win a game.
Players are not going to be called up merely as a reward for having a good minor league season. The players who are added will be those who could either fill a hole on the roster or provide added depth in a given area.
One bubble player is pitcher Trevor Bauer. The 22-year-old right-hander arrived with much ballyhoo when the Indians acquired him last winter as part of a big three-team trade with Arizona. The third overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, Bauer was expected to compete for a spot in the Indians' opening day roster, or, at worst, to start the season in the minor leagues and then join the big league rotation at some point early in the season.
Instead, Bauer has been a major disappointment, to the point that he has seemingly regressed in 2013. Bauer did make four spot starts for the Indians this season, and wasn't particularly impressive in any of them. Bauer was 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in those four starts, during which he walked 16 batters in 17 innings.
Bauer spent the majority of the 2013 season at Triple-A Columbus, where in his first 21 starts he was 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA. Indians officials maintain that Bauer's disappointing season was due to some major changes he made in his mechanics during the offseason.
Whether Bauer's disappointing season is just a bump in the road in his eventual return to the major leagues for good, or whether he will ever live up to his reputation as an elite starting pitching prospect remains to be seen. For the present, Bauer's season has raised more questions than provided any answers as to where he will eventually fit on the Indians' major league roster.