Cleveland Indians

Trevor Bauer’s career season in danger after fractured leg

Cleveland Indians RHP Trevor Bauer, in the midst of a Cy Young-caliber season, went on the DL on Tuesday with a fractured fibula.

Trevor Bauer had his Cy Young-caliber season derailed on Tuesday when the Cleveland Indians right-hander went on the disabled list with a fractured fibula.

Bauer was hurt during Cleveland’s game against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, when Jose Abreu hit a line drive up the middle which struck him in the right ankle. He fell to the ground before getting up and limping off the field.

Initial X-rays showed no structural damage, but on Tuesday Cleveland had their worst fears realized when an MRI revealed the fracture. The Indians recalled LHP Tyler Olson from Triple-A Columbus afterwards, while Adam Plutko will be called up on Saturday to fill Bauer’s spot in the rotation.

Indians manager Terry Francona says the team is still evaluating their options and don’t have any timeframe for Bauer to return.

“So, we don’t really have timeframes yet. We’ll have more soon,” Francona said. “Knowing Trev, he’ll keep his arm in shape, and he’ll be raring to go whenever he’s able to be raring to go. You feel for him, but he’s put himself in such a good place.”

The DL stint, the first of his seven-year career, comes as Bauer is in the middle of a career season. Best known for his wide variety of pitches, unorthodox training regimen and passion for drones before this year, Bauer has established himself as an All-Star and Cy Young candidate. He is 12-6 with a career-best 2.22 ERA this season, while leading the league in innings pitched. He also ranks second in WAR and strikeouts among American League pitchers.

Fortunately for the Indians, they are well-positioned to weather a lengthy absence by Bauer. They currently hold a 12.5 game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central as they try to make the postseason for the third consecutive year. Josh Tomlin, currently on a rehab assignment in Columbus, is also about to return to the rotation.

The only concern for Cleveland now is that Bauer will either not make it back for October, or won’t be the same when he does. Francona, however, isn’t worried about Bauer’s status for the playoffs.

“I really feel like, knowing him, he’ll keep his arm good and strong, and when he comes back, he’ll pick it up right where he left off,” he said.

The Indians continue a series in Cincinnati on Tuesday, with their other pitching ace, Corey Kluber, taking the mound.

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