Indians starter Trevor Bauer says cut on finger not an issue

ByAndrew Marchand ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

CLEVELAND --Indians starter Trevor Bauer doesn't think the cut on his right pinkie will be a factor when he goes to the mound for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

"It feels fine," Bauer said Tuesday.

Bauer could not make it out of the first inning of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series as blood poured out of the laceration. He hurt the finger while working on a drone.

Bauer threw 20 pitches to batters on Monday during batting practice, his first true test against hitters since Game 3 in Toronto. He wore a small bandage on the cut, but the injury will not be wrapped on Wednesday. Bauer said there was no blood present when the bandage was removed Monday, which he took as an encouraging sign.

"I don't think that finger is going to be the reason he wins or loses," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

Francona's strategy for using his pitchers in this series will be determined by how they make it through the first three games. Game 1 starter Corey Kluber, Bauer and Game 3 starterJosh Tomlinall could go on short rest, beginning with Kluber in Game 4. Under this scenario, Kluber could also start Game 7.

"It's not just one guy can handle it and maybe come back early," Francona said. "Because once you do that, then the other guys pretty much have to, too, [or] you're really not helping yourself."

If the Indians use a fourth starter, it will likely be either righty Danny Salazar or rookie lefty Ryan Merritt. Salazar, an All-Star, would be limited to 60 or 70 pitches since he has not pitched in a big league game since early September because of forearm tightness.

Merritt started Game 5 of the ALCS and pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings as the Indians clinched the pennant last Wednesday in Toronto. Merritt and Salazar could be used out of the bullpen, as well.

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