PHOENIX – Trevor Bauer might return to the Diamondbacks this season and Willie Bloomquist might not, although nothing is definitive in either case.
Bauer made his final minor league start for Reno ina 10-3 victory over Pawtucket in the Triple-A championship game against Pawtucket on Tuesday, and the D-backs were interested enough that general manager Kevin Towers caught a red-eye flight to the East Coast to attend the game at Durham, N.C.
Bauer scuffled in his time with the D-backs this season, going 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four starts between June 28-July 17 but was outstanding in the minors, going 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA in the regular season and winning his first two postseason starts. He was in line for the victory Tuesday but was removed after giving up four hits and seven walks in 4 2/3 innings while leading, 8-2.
“I think we kind of feel it would be beneficial for him to come back,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
“Things didn’t go as planned” the first time Bauer was in the majors, Gibson added. “I think of Bryan Shaw. Patrick Corbin. They go down and get to work on some things, and they come back. It’s usually beneficial. We’re not only thinking of this year but next year. It probably makes sense that any kind of experience or exposure that he gets back here and segues into the environment would be good for him.”
The D-backs have given their starters plenty of rest with four off days in the last 13 and do not appear to be concerned about their innings their young pitchers have logged. At the same time, “If we feel somebody should miss a start, then he would be a likely choice if he was here,” Gibson said.
Bloomquist does not want to be shut down for the rest of the year, but that might be the wisest course, since he has done no baseball activity in the last two weeks. At the same time, doctors have told him that the lower back pain stiffness that has sidelined him except for one at-bat since Aug. 8 is not a long-term issue and will heal in time.
“It’s very tough for me to say those words,” Bloomquist said about not playing the rest of the year. “We’ll see what the situation is at the point in time when I am ready to play again. It is tough for me to sit here say I’m done for the year if we have games left.”
Bloomquist is hitting .302 with 21 doubles in 80 games, and he is hitting .435 with runners in scoring position, which would lead the league if he had enough at-bats to qualify. Since his last start Aug. 8, the D-backs are three games under .500. Bloomquist reported he is feeling better, and he was to begin a more intensive rehab program Tuesday.
“We miss him. He had a great year for us when he was healthy,” Gibson said.
“We’re not going to just shut him down. He’s going to see it through, and hopefully he can get back into regular baseball activities. If he doesn’t, we are not going to push it so he goes backward.”
Bloomquist learned Tuesday that he is the D-backs’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to player considered to best represent the game through positive contributions on and off the field. Bloomquist is active with Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
“It’s obviously a huge honor. Really humbled about it. There are people who do a lot more in the community than I do,” Bloomquist said.