CLEVELAND -- When Trevor Bauer was dealing with a gash on the pinkie finger of his throwing hand two years ago, the Indians starter considered cauterizing the wound himself in order to keep pitching in the postseason. So, no, taking the mound this Sunday is not hindering Bauer's desire to
CLEVELAND -- When Trevor Bauer was dealing with a gash on the pinkie finger of his throwing hand two years ago, the Indians starter considered cauterizing the wound himself in order to keep pitching in the postseason. So, no, taking the mound this Sunday is not hindering Bauer's desire to pitch in the All-Star Game next week.
As things currently stand, Bauer is the Tribe's probable starter for Sunday's game against the Yankees, and -- under Major League Baseball's revised guidelines -- that no longer renders him ineligible for the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX). The decision is now left up to the player and his team, and Bauer has no intention of declaring himself unavailable.
"You know me," Bauer said with a smirk. "When's the last time I took myself out of pitching anything? I threw 40 innings this offseason. I threw in my [UCLA] alumni game -- four innings. Yeah, I'd like to pitch."
Bauer, who is a first-time All-Star, prides himself on being available to pitch as often as possible and would prefer if pitch-count restrictions did not exist. He boasts about throwing 147 pitches for the Bruins during his freshman year in college and currently leads all Major League pitchers with an average of 109.4 pitches per game. The righty ranked second in MLB in innings (129 1/3) entering Thursday.
Due to pitching on Sunday, Bauer's typical bullpen day would be on Wednesday, but the pitcher did not sound too concerned that logging a few pitches one day earlier would be a big deal for him. Indians manager Terry Francona said he has discussed the situation with Bauer, and the team's preference would be to have the starter available only if necessary for the All-Star Game.
"We talked to him about maybe just being available for extra innings, something like that," Francona said. "Trevor's been really good about it. He said, 'I'd like to throw a lot of innings for the Indians.' We really appreciate that. But, out of respect to the game, just be available like if they need him."
Francona noted that, if Bauer does not pitch in the All-Star Game, he would likely start the second-half opener on July 20 against the Rangers.
Entering Thursday, Bauer was tied for the MLB lead in pitcher WAR (4.9 per FanGraphs) and Fielding Independent Pitching (2.15) and paced baseball in home runs allowed per nine innings (0.35). The right-hander ranked fifth in the Majors in strikeout percentage (31.8) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.69), sixth in ERA- (54) and seventh in ERA (2.30) and strikeout-minus-walk percentage (24.1).
Has Bauer thought ahead to what it would be like to take the mound in the Midsummer Classic?
"Yeah, I have a lot of plans for it," Bauer said. "So, hopefully, I get in there."
• All-Star Jose Ramirez surprised some of his teammates on Wednesday by deciding against participating in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday in Washington. Asked about Ramirez's decision, Bauer cracked a smile and quipped that the third baseman just wanted to give some other players an opportunity to win the event.
"It's Jose being Jose. He's just giving other people a chance to win it," Bauer said. "I'm sure he would hit like 60 homers or something. It's unbelievable. I was making fun of him the other day. I was like, 'You only hit a homer after [Francisco] Lindor hits a homer.' And then he went out and hit two homers and looked at me [and shrugged]."
• Francona noted that Ramirez had the team's blessing to take part in the Derby, but the manager was perfectly fine with the third baseman's choice to decline the invite.
Said Francona: "I don't think people realize the output of energy it is. It's an incredible amount of energy that goes into it. It's also very good for the game -- fans love it. I think if it's your guy, you just hope it goes well and there aren't any ramifications."
• Left-hander Andrew Miller (10-day disabled list, right knee) was doing well on Thursday, one day after logging a mound workout at Progressive Field. Miller's next step will be a live batting-practice session against Minor League hitters on Saturday with Double-A Akron.
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.