Trevor Bauer was drafted with the third overall pick in this year's draft by Arizona out of UCLA. He was the 2011 Golden Spikes Winner, presented to the top amateur baseball player in the country by USA Baseball. He also set a Pac-10 record and led the nation with 203 strikeouts this season.
Bauer got assigned to the BayBears after making his first three pro appearances as a member of the Visalia Rawhide. Bauer fanned 17 hitters in nine innings of work for Visalia while allowing three runs on seven hits.
"We have maintained since signing Trevor that we believe he is capable of moving quickly," D-backs director of scouting/player development Jerry Dipoto said. "His physical preparedness and performance, however brief, while in Visalia has only reinforced that belief."
Top pitching prospects Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin also are in the loaded Mobile rotation. To make room for Bauer on the roster, RHP Josh Ellis was released. Ellis had a 6.00 ERA in 18 appearances for the BayBears.
"The stuff is really good," continued DiPoto. "It took him a couple of starts to get the release point and the feel for where he was after not pitching for so long."
Bauer was as good as advertised on Sunday night at Hank Aaron Stadium; he struck out eight over five scoreless innings and the BayBears edged the Mississippi Braves, 5-4.
Bauer's usual pregame routine of more than an hour's worth of stretching and throwing preceded a solid effort in his Double-A debut. All five hits he surrendered were singles. The biggest threat against him came in the top of the fifth after an error and two singles loaded the bases with no outs. Bauer rebounded by striking out Donell Linares before Ed Lucas bounced into a rally-dimming double play.
Bauer was placed with the lead to work behind in the bottom of the third. Jake Elmore reached on a two-out error by Lucas at short while A.J. Pollock singled to bring up Daryle Ward. Ward stroked a double to left-center off Jose Lugo to bring home both Elmore and Pollock, putting the BayBears (72-47, 34-15) on top.
Wes Roemer, who was bumped from the rotation to accommodate Bauer, made his first relief appearance of the season in the sixth. Mississippi (47-73, 22-28) tied the score at 2-2 as Lugo hit a slow roller to second, scoring Dan Nelson. Cory Harrilchak came to the dish when Braeden Schlehuber got caught in a rundown and was hit in the back by an errant throw from Ward.
Lugo allowed the BayBears to recapture the advantage in the bottom of the sixth another pair of tallies. Marc Krauss lifted a sac fly to score Ward. Taylor Harbin came home on a knock from Ed Easley. The M-Braves evened the contest again in the seventh as Nelson blasted an RBI double and scored on a three-bagger by Harrilchak.
In the bottom of the eighth, the BayBears broke the tie for good as Harbin started the frame with a single off Benino Pruneda (2-7). Harbin advanced to third on a throwing error by Pruneda and scored on bloop single from Krauss. Yonata Ortega (1-0) tossed a scoreless top of the eighth while Mike DeMark (S, 11) slammed the door with a perfect ninth.
The BayBears lead in the South Division by 9 games over the second-place Biscuits with their magic number to clinch a South Division second half crown at 13. Trevor Bauer now has a 1.93 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 14 minor league innings. The Diamondbacks are believed to be considering adding him to the roster in September for their playoff push, and may be more likely to do so now that starter Jason Marquis figures to be out for the remainder of the regular season.
"That'd be a great honor, something I am working toward," Bauer said. "If I get called up, great. If not, fine. I have to get better every day."
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