Trevor Bauer: ‘Just Wanted To Come Out And Have Some Fun’ Pitching Against Dodgers Minor Leaguers

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While the Los Angeles Dodgers were starting their Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon, Trevor Bauer was taking the mound on a backfield at Camelback Ranch to face some o his former organization’s Minor Leaguers.

Bauer was pitching for the Asian Breeze, a travel club from Japan that plays scrimmage games against Minor League teams in a barnstorming tour throughout the United States.

The primary purpose of the Breeze is to get players in front of MLB scouts, and those who are on the roster typically pay a fee to be part of the showcase.

Although Bauer has expressed a desire to sign with an MLB team, he primarily viewed pitching against Dodgers Minor Leaguers as an opportunity to enjoy himself, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I just wanted to come out and have some fun playing baseball. That’s it,” said Bauer who spent last year pitching in Japan. “I don’t think that anyone doubts that I’m still really good. No one doubts my stuff. Outside of three bad innings in Japan last year I had a 1.9 (ERA). I threw 130 innings in three months. I don’t think anyone doubts my stuff. I added a splitter. I got four strikeouts on my splitter today. No one’s seen that from me in the States because I added that pitch last year.

“I’m a better pitcher than I was the last time people here saw me. Hopefully today reminded them that I’m still an elite pitcher. If not, that’s fine too.”

The Dodgers signed Bauer in 2021 to a three-year, $102 million contract, which drew both praise and criticism at the time. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the Dodgers did their due diligence and were confident Bauer would be a positive addition to the organization despite some of his controversial behavior and comments on social media.

Bauer wound up making just 17 starts for the Dodgers, going 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA. He faced allegations of sexual assault and ultimately wound up being released in 2023. Additional women have brought forth sexual assault allegations since the original incident that led to MLB’s investigation and record suspension of Bauer.

Bauer ended up joining the Yokohama DeNA Baystars of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the 2023 season, where he threw 130.2 innings with a 2.76 ERA.

Trevor Bauer surprised Dodgers

The Dodgers have largely distanced themselves from Bauer since he was placed on administrative leave, suspended and eventually released.

Thus, they reportedly were surprised Bauer would pitch against some of the organization’s prospects, but chose not to interfere with the Breeze’s plans.

Among the Dodgers Minor Leaguers that Bauer faced were Diego Cartaya, Hunter Feduccia, Andy Pages and Jake Gelof.

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