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Dodgers notes: Trevor Bauer’s uniform & MLB, rotation order, Brusdar Graterol

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Bauer threw 86 pitches in penultimate spring start

Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Trevor Bauer allowed three home runs in the fifth inning against the Mariners on Monday night in Peoria, but didn’t seem too concerned with his penultimate start of the exhibition season.

Bauer retired his first 11 batters faced before a Kyle Lewis single with two outs in the fourth. The fifth inning was a different story altogether, with doubles by Luis Torrens and Dylan Moore to open the frame, followed by home runs by Evan White, Jose Marmalejos, and Mitch Haniger in a four-batter stretch, scoring five times in the inning.

“The first couple innings were sharp. I landed curveballs for strikes, the slider was good. I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well. I got what I wanted out of it,” Bauer said on a Zoom call. “In the fifth inning, I was throwing pitches. There really wasn’t any thought of sequencing or whatever. That’s not a really good mind frame to be in when you’re trying to get guys out. But I was just finishing off the night, trying to get my pitch count up.”

The pitch count for Bauer was 86, and he will get one more Cactus League start on Saturday against Cleveland, the Dodgers’ last game in Arizona before breaking camp. That puts Bauer in line to start the second game of the regular season, after Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch again on Friday against the A’s, likely pitching five or six innings. Walker Buehler, who starts Tuesday for the Dodgers, is in line to start the third game of the season, though Dave Roberts didn’t want to officially commit to anything beyond Kershaw pitching on April 1.

“Obviously that’s the way it’s lined up, it kind of looks that way, so we’ll see,” Roberts said Monday. “There’s an off day [this Wednesday and next Wednesday]. How these guys are feeling also matters. Certainly, that’s how we’re projecting it, but it’s not done until it’s done.”

Uniformity

Bauer received a letter from Major League Baseball, threatening discipline if he continued to wear an unauthorized corporate logo. In his first three spring starts, Bauer wore his own corporate logo on both an undershirt and belt, which he explained in a video last week.

In Bauer’s last two starts — last Tuesday against the Brewers and Monday night against Seattle — no other logos were visible on either his uniform or his belt.

Trevor Bauer, in his start against the Brewers at Camelback Ranch on March 16, 2021
Trevor Bauer, in his start against the Mariners in Peoria on March 22, 2021

“It’s just very odd. I’m a Nike athlete, and I asked Nike if it was legal for me to have my logo on my shoes, and they said absolutely, so they did that. Then I asked if it was legal to have my logo on my glove, and they said, ‘Absolutely, there’s no problem with that. We’ll do that too,’” Bauer said Monday. “I guess a shirt is different. So if I’m a Nike athlete, Nike shoes are good. A Nike glove, my logo is good. But a Nike shirt, my logo is bad. Interesting.”

This isn’t the first time Bauer was at odds with MLB over part of his uniform. Last year with the Reds, he had special cleats made after Joe Kelly was suspended for throwing at the Astros in July, saying “Free Joe Kelly.” MLB threatened to suspend Bauer if he wore those in a game.

But then when Dee Strange-Gordon last year wore In-N-Out cleats, which is also a violation of MLB rules, it was promoted by an official MLB Twitter account.

“The selective enforcement of the rule is quite comical,” Bauer said Monday. “You have players around the league who wear their belt with their logo on it all the time, or shoes with a logo on it, whatever the case is. But I wear a belt with a logo, I get a letter. Par for the course with me and MLB.”

Notes

  • Chris Taylor was 2-for-3 and hit his fourth home run of the spring on Monday. He’s hitting .419/.486/.968 in 35 Cactus League plate appearances.
  • Brusdar Graterol will face hitters soon, but he isn’t expected to pitch in a spring game in the next eight days (the remainder of the schedule). “If we don’t see him in a Cactus League game, it’s very unlikely that he’ll break camp with us,” Roberts said.
  • The Dodgers are expected to make a second round of roster cuts on Tuesday morning, trimming the major league camp from the current count of 45 players.