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Sayonara! Bauer Shipped to Minors in Japan

Former Dodger ace Trevor Bauer’s fall from grace has been well-documented. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Bauer outdoes himself by getting sent to the minor leagues of the Nippon League (NPB) after a shockingly bad start.

Since Bauer won the NL Cy Young Award in 2020, we’ve come a long way. I won’t explain why he was exiled from Major League Baseball; we all know what happened. But I am curious how his on-field play went from best in the MLB to struggling in the Japanese minors.

Sayonara! Bauer Shipped to Minors in Japan
Trevor Bauer #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the third inning of a game/Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

— sky (@GonsolinRBW) May 27, 2023

Do they not have rosin in Japan?

Bauer’s Stats in Final MLB Seasons

Before we get into Bauer’s stats since joining the Yokohama Bay Stars of the NBP’s Central League, let’s examine his results from his final two seasons in the Majors.

In a COVID-shortened 2020 season, Bauer finished with a 5-4 record, 1.76 ERA, and two complete game shutouts in 11 starts. The wins and losses weren’t impressive, but he was pitching for the Cincinnati Reds. Despite the stellar stats, many view him as nothing more than the Cy Young winner during a flukey and condensed 2020 season.

His success netted him a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2021 season. Before he got suspended, Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA with 137 strikeouts in 107⅔ innings pitched. They are not entirely Cy Young numbers, but they are outstanding nonetheless.

Bauer won his last MLB start against the San Francisco Giants on June 28 with a final score of 3-2.

Trevors Tumultuous Time in Japan

When Bauer announced he was taking his talents to Japan, I assumed he’d be a major draw and a massive help to whichever team managed to sign him.

Bauer did help with attendance for the Bay Stars, but tickets don’t win games, and neither did Trevor. Looking over these stats, I am shocked at how bad Bauer has been during his time in Japan.

In four starts for the DeNA Baystars, Bauer is 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA and seven home runs in 21 innings pitched. They are gruesome numbers for any pitcher, let alone a recent Cy Young winner playing in Japan who isn’t coming off a significant injury.

Bauer’s most significant issue is giving up home runs, with three of his four games featuring multiple long balls.

We all know what happens to struggling MLB pitchers who can’t get their act together. They get sent down to the minors to work it out.

I never considered that the Nippon League had a minor league system. Yet, despite being one of the most obscure baseball leagues in the world, that is where Bauer is currently working on his mechanics.

To be fair, Bauer claims he was not demoted but chose to move to the minor league system. I don’t believe a word this guy says.

But I believe in results, and Bauer has yet to produce them against Japan’s worst professional baseball players.

Bauer allowed a home run to the first batter, who stepped up to the plate after his demotion. He rebounded to eventually strike out 10. But his issues with the long ball are still plaguing him.

I don’t know what the future holds for Bauer, but I’m sure the Korean Baseball Organization would love to have him on a roster next season. If not, there is always the Australian Baseball League. The Aussies, however, do not have a minor league system.

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