Phenom Trevor Bauer will make his major league debut for the Diamondbacks on Thursday, sources with knowledge of the D-backs’ thinking said Sunday.
Bauer, who has dominated minor league hitters at two levels this season, was pulled after making 50 pitches in 2 2/3 innings in his start for Class AAA Reno on Sunday, an outing that could stand as a perfect off-day throwing session before a Thursday start.
Here's the reason behind the D-backs' thinking:
The D-backs need a starter in Atlanta on Thursday because Joe Saunders was placed on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation on Saturday. Ian Kennedy would have been able to make that start on normal rest because of Monday’s off-day, but manager Kirk Gibson said in his press briefing Sunday that Kennedy will start Friday.
Bauer has blown through both Double-A and Triple-A this year; he has 11 wins and one loss in 16 starts, and has struck out 116 batters in 93 innings. The 15 wild pitches he's thrown could give one pause, though. Bauer is also known for a unique warmup quirk:
Before the rookie hopeful steps on the rubber for his warm-up pitches between innings, he channels Happy Gilmore by taking a step or two from behind the mound and firing the ball as hard as he can toward home plate. Sometimes the catcher catches the pitch. Sometimes he just gets out of the way and watches it fly to the backstop.
It remains to be seen whether Bauer can or will do this at the major-league level, but if the reports are correct, we'll find out Thursday.