Trevor Bauer reacts after outing vs Dodgers minor leaguers: ‘I’m still one of the best pitchers in the world’

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For the first time in nearly three years, Trevor Bauer pitched against professional hitters in the United States, and they were members of his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, on Sunday afternoon. 

Bauer was pitching for the Asian Breeze, an independent team based in Japan that plays exhibition games against minor leaguers in hopes to catch the attention of scouts, in his first game in the States since he was suspended a record 194 days for violating MLB’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy. 

Bauer was initially hit with a 324-game suspension in April 2022, which came 10 months after he was placed on administrative leave due to sexual assault allegations. His suspension was later reduced, but the Dodgers released him. 

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Trevor Bauer (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/File)

With many fans on hand to see Bauer pitch, including some wearing “Bring Back Bauer” T-shirts, the 33-year-old righthander dominated his minor league opponents. 

Bauer’s fastball reportedly topped out at 99 mph several times as he went on to record four strikeouts against 12 batters. Three of the batters Bauer faced were on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster: outfielder Andy Pages and catchers Diego Cartaya and Hunter Feduccia. 

Just this time three years ago, Bauer was ready to play against some of the best in the game after signing a three-year, $102 million deal to join the Dodgers. 

TREVOR BAUER OFFERS ADVICE TO ASPIRING ATHLETES AFTER SETTLING LEGAL DISPUTE

But now he’s playing in hopes of getting back into the league, though reports say no Dodgers or MLB scout was in the stands to watch him pitch.

“I mean, if you think about it, I should have the opportunity to sign with a big league team,” Bauer told a scrum of media members, per ESPN. “I’m just asking for the league minimum, so it’s not a money thing. I’ve served my suspension twice over. I’ve been cleared of everything in the legal system. If you think about it logically, there’s really no reason I shouldn’t have a job.

“But I don’t. So, it is what it is. We’ll see how it plays out. I don’t want to predict the future. We’ll see.”

After his Dodgers release, Bauer went to Japan to pitch for the Yokohama DeNA Baystars. He owned an impressive 2.59 ERA over 156.2 innings in 24 games at two different levels for the Baystars. Bauer struck out 160 batters and walked just 34. 

Trevor Bauer vs Giants

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer throws a pitch against the Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco on May 21, 2021. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I just stay ready and maybe people somehow will remember that I’m still one of the best pitchers in the world,” Bauer said, per USA Today. 

Bauer was originally supposed to pitch at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ complex with the Asian Breeze on Saturday, but his start got moved. 

ESPN learned a source close to Bauer said that him playing on the Dodgers’ grounds was cleared with the team. 

“I don’t really care who I pitch against, honestly,” Bauer said when asked how it felt facing a Dodgers squad. “I just like to pitch. Hopefully, they enjoyed it and had a good time. I tried to enjoy it and have a good time, tried to entertain the fans, which is what I always try to do. Dodgers or any other team, it doesn’t really matter, I just enjoy pitching.”

Bauer said he’s a better pitcher now since playing in Japan. He returned to the States with a splitter in his pitching arsenal as well as his heater, which gained velocity overseas. 

“Hopefully, today reminded them that I’m still an elite pitcher. If not, that’s fine, too,” he said.

Trevor Bauer vs Rockies

Trevor Bauer of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up before the game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on April 13, 2021. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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The last time Bauer was on an MLB mound was the 2021 season for the Dodgers, where he pitched to a 2.59 ERA over 17 starts (107.2 innings) with 137 strikeouts. 

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