CLEVELAND -- Several hours before Friday's game against the Orioles at Progressive Field, Trevor Bauer was sitting on his knees at the left-field chalk line with a walking boot on his right foot. The Indians pitcher then proceeded to work through a long-toss session with one of the team's athletic
CLEVELAND -- Several hours before Friday's game against the Orioles at Progressive Field, Trevor Bauer was sitting on his knees at the left-field chalk line with a walking boot on his right foot. The Indians pitcher then proceeded to work through a long-toss session with one of the team's athletic trainers.
It is one thing for Tribe manager Terry Francona to say that Bauer will be doing everything in his power to return from the disabled list before the end of the season. It is another thing to witness the sidelined right-hander already trying to defy the four-to-six week timetable that has been announced for his comeback from a stress fracture in his right fibula.
How long does Bauer think he will be out?
"We'll find out," Bauer said on Friday. "You're going to get a very different answer if you ask me that question and if you ask the medical staff that question, so probably should defer to doctors on that."
Bauer was struck on the back of the right ankle by a comebacker from White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu on Saturday, so the pitcher is already nearly a week into his rehab program. The righty said he has a throwing progression mapped out, and that he has already resumed weighted ball work, along with long-toss. In a few days, Bauer plans on adding a velocity workout to the mix.
If everything goes according to plan with no setbacks, Francona said that Bauer could be cleared to throw from a standing position in about 10 days and mound work might follow 10 days after that. Per the timetable given by the team's medical staff, Bauer could return to Cleveland's rotation by mid-to-late September at the earliest. At the very least, the Indians will hold out hope that the pitcher will be available for the postseason.
"We know Trevor is not going to shortchange anybody," Francona said. "He's going to keep his arm in shape. He's going to do everything he can. That thing is going to heal when it wants to. We also have an obligation to, you know, talking to our trainers today, not let Trevor hurt himself, even if he's willing to or put himself out there. We kind of have an obligation to keep an eye on guys. We'll just do what the medical people tell us to do."
Bauer's injury comes in the midst of a season that had him in the conversation for the American League Cy Young Award.
Through 25 starts, Bauer is 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA, which ranks third in the AL. The starter is second in the AL in WAR (5.9 per Fangraphs), innings (166), Fielding Independent Pitching (2.38) and ERA- (51), while ranking fourth in strikeouts (214), strikeout rate (11.6 per nine innings) and strikeout percentage (31.5).
"The more I sit back and think about how good my season's going, the more [angry] I get," said Bauer, who had never been on the DL before. "Because now I'm not pitching, and that's what I should be doing. I'm sure there's plenty of people out there that are happy about the fact that they get to ignore that I'm one of the best pitchers in the league for another year. They don't have to face that reality."
Francona, players visit Martin
The team's off-day on Thursday afforded Francona and bench coach Brad Mills the chance to head to Cleveland Clinic, where they visited sidelined center fielder Leonys Martin. Martin is out of the intensive care unit and recovering from a serious bacterial infection.
When Francona and Mills arrived, several of Martin's Tribe teammates were also at the hospital.
"There was a room full of guys over there, which is kind of nice," Francona said. "He was sitting up in a chair. He looked really good, and he wanted everybody to know he appreciates all the thoughts and everything. I thought he looked really good. It was really uplifting to see him like that."
• Francona said that designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10-day DL) has no lingering issues with his right biceps, but he noted that there are still "mild symptoms" in the slugger's right hand. The manager added that the team's hope is that Encarnacion can resume batting practice on Sunday or Monday, making it "questionable" that the DH would be activated when eligible on Tuesday.
• Righty Josh Tomlin (10-day DL, right hamstring) is slated to pitch for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday in his latest Minor League rehab outing.
• Righty Nicholas Goody (60-day DL, right elbow) has a simulated game coming up within the next week.
• Righty Cody Anderson (60-day DL, right elbow) is on pace for Minor League games within the next couple of weeks.
• Outfielder Tyler Naquin (10-day DL, right hip) has progressed to riding a stationary bike.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.