Former Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer poses for photographers in his new DeNA BayStars uniform during an introductory press conference in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on March 24, 2023. Bauer was rocked in his second start in the NPB. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)
By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
Trevor Bauer’s Nippon Professional Baseball career with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars started off rather well on May 3 against the Hiroshima Carp. In seven innings he allowed just one earned run on seven hits and struck out nine. Yokohama went on to win the game 4-1.
However, Bauer’s most recent start against the Yomiuri Giants on Tuesday did not go as smooth.
The Yomiuri Giants were all over Bauer on Tuesday, scattering seven runs on 11 hits across six innings. Bauer struck out eight and walked none, but gave up three home runs, including two in the sixth inning before being pulled from the game. Yomiuri added two more runs late in the game to extend their lead and come out on top 9-2 over Yokohama.
Bauer’s ineffectiveness on Tuesday could be due to multiple reasons, but a major reason was his increased workload. He threw 103 pitches in just six innings of work. He struggled to retire hitters quickly, which led to longer stretches of time on the mound. The 32-year-old only made three starts prior to Tuesday, two of which were with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars minor league team. After his second start in the Japanese minor leagues, a game in which he threw 77 pitches, he stressed the importance of getting his arm back into game shape.
“It’s just about building up my pitch count right now, making sure that I can pitch a whole game if need be,” Bauer told reporters.
Yokohama signed Bauer to a one-year deal worth $4 million this past winter after all 30 Major League Baseball organizations passed on his services. The Los Angeles Dodgers released Bauer in January, but still owe him $22.5 million for the 2023 season.
Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 2021 with Los Angeles, before being placed on paid leave for violating the Major Leauge Baseball domestic violence and sexual assault policy. He was suspended 324 games, a MLB record. The suspension was reduced to 194 games by an independent arbitrator, but he never signed with another MLB team after his release from the Dodgers and reinstatement.
The Yokohama DeNA BayStars will take on the Yomiuri Giants on Thursday, May 11 at 5:00 a.m. ET. The game will be played at Yokohama Stadium.