SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — With manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers watching closely, Diamondbacks top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer threw his first major league bullpen session Tuesday at Salt River Fields.
Bauer, picked third overall in the 2011 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft last June, is in major league camp at just 21 years old and looking to make an impression. The right-hander threw for about 10 minutes Tuesday, the second day of D-backs camp.
“The ball felt good coming out of my hand,” Bauer said. “I felt like my stuff was OK, inconsistent mechanically, and obviously (there were) location problems. First one of the spring, but I was encouraged about how it went.”
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Bauer maintained a throwing routine through the winter, so conditioning won’t be as much of a concern this spring. Bauer can instead focus more on mechanics and command.
“I’m pretty much ready to go,” Bauer said. “I’ve just got to figure out how to locate the ball again.”
Bauer said it was a relief to get the first bullpen session over with, but that he hasn’t been nervous about the baseball side of things in his first spring training. More nerve-wracking for him has been figuring out the logistics of big league spring training — schedules, clubhouse etiquette and apparently timing.
Bauer arrived to the first day of workouts Monday in time to be dressed well ahead of the team’s first meeting, but that apparently wasn’t good enough for the rest of the clubhouse. The rookie took some good-natured ribbing and made sure to arrive a couple hours early Tuesday.
Gibson and Towers sat just behind Bauer as he threw Tuesday morning. Shortly after, they got a look at another top pitching prospect in Tyler Skaggs. The 20-year-old left-hander was acquired in 2010 when the D-backs dealt Dan Haren to the Angels and is in major league camp for the first time.
Gibson was impressed with Bauer and Skaggs on Tuesday but didn’t put a lot of stock in the early camp session.
“They were prepared obviously,” Gibson said. “You don’t want to get too excited about it. They threw the ball good, we all know what there abilities are. We’ve got to keep them focused on what we’re trying to do here.”
The D-backs rotation appears set, so it will be tough for Bauer or Skaggs to crack the major league roster. Towers on Monday left a small window open, also accounting for possible injuries.
“The last thing we want to do is send a message to guys like Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs and Wade Miley that they’ve got no chance here,” Towers said. “We want it to be a very competitive spring. You never know when there might be an injury, you never know when a guy may miss a turn early in April. We want those kids ready and hungry.”