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Trevor Bauer is not having a lot of success during his first professional baseball season in Japan. The 32-year-old came out firing in his debut but has only gone further downhill in his two starts since.
Bauer, the 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner, plays for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. He signed a one-year deal with the Nippon Professional Baseball league team in March that could be worth up to $4 million with incentives.
As of right now, those incentives are well out of reach.
Bauer’s first start was a success. The crowd was rocking and their star American pitcher was dealing.
Although Bauer did not allow a walk and struck out eight in his second start, he found a lot of bats.
The third major league start of Bauer’s Japanese career was even worse.
It lasted just two innings.
Bauer threw just 69 pitches and allowed seven runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout. Ryoma Nishikawa blew the game open in the first inning with a two-run home run that was gone forever as soon as it made contact with the bat.
After coming out hot in his first outing, Bauer has allowed at least seven runs in back-to-back starts. His ERA has ballooned to 8.40 on the year.
To further illustrate Bauer’s struggles, the BayStars did not allow another run. Four relief pitchers combined to give up just three hits after taking over in the final seven innings.
Yokohama went on to lose 7-5.
Bauer has not pitched in the MLB since 2021. He was placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into significant sexual assault allegations and was later suspended per the league’s domestic violence policy.
Although Bauer ultimately did not face any criminal charges and maintained his innocence, no team was willing to sign him after his reinstatement in 2023. As a result, he went overseas.
Bauer’s arrival in Japan was met with a lot of fanfare and excitement. Now, after his last two starts, the honeymoon has come to an abrupt end. There is a legitimate chance that the BayStars could choose to yank Bauer from the rotation if his struggles continue.