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Jake Bauers looks to fit in Indians lineup

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — A great deal of the Indians’ roster is in flux heading into Spring Training, and a significant piece of the puzzle is Jake Bauers.

Bauers delivers versatility to the Tribe’s lineup in a season in which it could come in handy. The 23-12 months-aged is mainly a first baseman with expertise in the corner-outfield places. As the club analyzes the roster above the upcoming six months, it will glance to see in which Bauers will make the most important impact.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — A great deal of the Indians’ roster is in flux heading into Spring Training, and a significant piece of the puzzle is Jake Bauers.

Bauers delivers versatility to the Tribe’s lineup in a season in which it could come in handy. The 23-12 months-aged is mainly a first baseman with expertise in the corner-outfield places. As the club analyzes the roster above the upcoming six months, it will glance to see in which Bauers will make the most important impact.

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“It appears to us just from our scouting him, he appears like he has a likelihood to be an above-average first baseman,” manager Terry Francona reported. “I feel he’s athletic more than enough that you can go him to the outfield, as he’s now proven.

“That is in which we need to have to glance at our staff and crack it down and say, ‘Where are we strongest? Are we the strongest playing him at first foundation? Are we the strongest obtaining [Carlos Santana] at first foundation?’ People are the combinations. ‘Are we the strongest inquiring fellas to do equally?’ We never know that however.”

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It’s very clear that Bauers is most relaxed at first foundation, playing 76 of his 96 online games at first soon after acquiring termed up to the Majors in June 2018. On the other hand, the Indians even now have a good deal of choices. If Bauers begins at first, Santana will be the selected hitter. If Santana is at first, Bauers could go to the outfield and contend with Tyler Naquin, Jordan Luplow and Greg Allen at the corners.

“I mean, ideally, I might participate in each individual inning at first foundation,” Bauers reported. “I feel that’s in which, defensively, I carry the most benefit. I have built no form of secrets and techniques about my self esteem in myself above there, and supplied the option, I feel I can be almost certainly just one of, if not the ideal, defensive first basemen in the game.”

Video clip: OAK@TB: Bauers covers ground for a superb diving get

The Indians feel highly of Bauers’ possible at first foundation, but supplied their lack of depth in the outfield, he will get some appears in the grass. Bauers started out observing time in the outfield in 2016 with the Rays’ Double-A affiliate, playing 62 online games in right and 4 in left, which he reported was not an straightforward changeover.

“It was rough I’m not gonna lie,” Bauers reported. “It’s a little something new and when you’re in Double-A attempting to have a superior season, you’re also obtaining to stress about battling defensively. It’s a significant hit to your self esteem. Not becoming up to what you feel you should be up to, if that would make feeling. And I just take delight in protection as very well as offense, so when I’m not accomplishing to the level that I feel I should be, like I reported, it usually takes a hit on my self esteem.”

Bauers could not have as a lot expertise in the outfield at the Important League level, generating 20 appearances, but he reported his self esteem is now large. Understanding the condition of the Indians’ outfield soon after he was traded to Cleveland on Dec. 13, he was certain to do a minor further conditioning and misplaced a handful of further lbs . to be a minor extra versatile to be ready to participate in in the outfield.

“The first time I performed out there total-time in the Minors, I was sore a lot, just mainly because I wasn’t used to jogging that a lot all through the season,” Bauers reported. “So, that’s a little something I have form of incorporated into my entire preparing in the offseason as very well as the season. I realized it truly is crucial for me to get out and run and form of do springs, and even some lengthy distance things just to remain ready.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Adhere to her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.



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