PHOENIX – The Diamondbacks could give Trevor Bauer a second look after Class AAA Reno’s season ends, manager Kirk Gibson indicated Tuesday.
Bauer, who was to start for Reno on Tuesday night, has followed instructions given when he was returned to Reno six weeks ago and become more efficient with his pitches in four August, after being shut down for two weeks.
Bauer, 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA at Reno, needed only 102 pitches in a complete Aug.17 and used 92 in seven innings on Aug. 22, both numbers more than acceptable. He walked only one in each game, tying a season low.
The next step might be how it carries over in a second trip to the majors.
“It’s possible, yeah,” Gibson said when asked if Bauer could make a September start.
“If our staff stays healthy, we probably wouldn’t bring Trevor up for sure until they (Reno) are done. If we bring him up at all. That decision has not been made.”
Manager Brett Butler’s Reno team was four games ahead with seven to play in the Pacific Coast League Pacific North Division and is almost certain to make the playoffs for the second straight year. The PCL semifinal and final playoff series are both best-of-five, so Bauer could be occupied until mid-September. The major league season ends Oct. 3.
Pitch efficiency is a constant message the D-backs reinforce with their starters. Gibson brought it up with Trevor Cahill the other day, who had 88 pitches in 3 2/3 innings Sunday and 96 in 5 1/3 innings last Tuesday.
“It’s their nature they are trying to miss the bat sometimes too much,” Gibson said.
“It ends up getting you in trouble. You go from 0-3 to 3-2 (in the count) and the next thing you know you walk a guy or he gets a hit off you, and you have used all those pitches. It’s OK if a guy gets a hit, as opposed to using five additional pitches.
“They start accumulating, so as we get deeper in the game, it doesn’t allow you to go very deep and it puts a strain on your bullpen and it puts a strain on your bench.”
Bauer is 12-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 21 minor league starts, with 152 strikeouts and 59 walks in 124 1/3 innings. He was 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four starts with the D-backs this season.