MLB Places Dodgers Pitcher Trevor Bauer on Administrative Leave

By Anthony Haage in Sports
| July 9, 2021 9:15 am PDT

Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher Trevor Bauer’s season could be in jeopardy after a woman accused him of sexual assault.

The woman was granted a temporary restraining order against Bauer and the Pasadena Police department is doing further investigations.

MLB is also going through a decision-making process which could temporarily threaten Bauer’s season and possibly more. Bauer and the woman reportedly met up for sexual acts twice. Bauer’s agent released a statement denying the allegations.

The situation has forced the MLB’s hand, with the league placing the star pitcher on Administrative Leave. Here’s a breakdown of the situation, and what to expect going forward.

How Much Time Will Trevor Bauer Miss?

Bauer has been placed on the 7-day administrative list which could be extended at the end of the 7 days if further investigations are needed.

There will be a formal hearing on July 23rd, so that could be an interesting date in the future.

Of course, there is already clear distancing between Bauer and the Dodgers. Some of Bauer’s teammates have unfollowed the pitcher on social media, and team merchandise involving Bauer has even been pulled from their online store.

Looking at past criminal suspensions by the MLB, we can see how long this potential suspension might be. Aroldis Chapman was suspended for 30 games for domestic violence, so that could be a reference for the MLB’s decision.

The Dodgers have played 85 games already this season, so a 30-game suspension would allow Bauer to return before the postseason begins.

Although, it is yet to be determined if they will be retroactive to his original placement on the administrative list. Chapman did not face charges in his incident, but the MLB still suspended him. This is still a possibility by the MLB front office, where they can suspend Bauer even if he is not convicted.

Roberto Osuna was suspended 75 games without pay for committing domestic violence against his child’s mother.

If Bauer is suspended 75 games, he would be eligible to come back two games before the postseason. Players could be ineligible to play in the postseason if they use PEDs, but they could also decide on that as well for domestic violence.

The MLB and MLBPA’s recent domestic policy states that there is no minimum or maximum of penalties against a certain player.

Losing Bauer Would Be a Financial Blow

Bauer signed a massive 3-year contract with the Dodgers before this season started. The contract is worth $102 million over the 3 years, meaning his average annual salary is $34 million per season.

That means his AAV salary is 7th highest in the MLB.

That is a crucial blow to the Dodgers, as their highest paid player by AAV will be out for an extended period of time.

It is very bad timing, as well, as we approach the MLB trade deadline at the end of July and the Dodgers are 0.5 games back behind the San Francisco Giants, and the San Diego Padres are 4 games behind the Dodgers.

The tight NL West division race may lean towards the Giants and Padres if the Dodgers struggle to replace their starting pitcher.

Bauer’s 2021 Season So Far

Bauer has already pitched 107.2 innings this season, to an impressive ERA of 2.59. Bauer has an 8-5 record in 17 games started this season. Bauer is among the best starting pitchers in the game.

His ERA is tied for 12th lowest in the league with Mets’ starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. He also has the 8th highest K/9 with 11.45, but his expected ERA indicated he was due for some regression. His expected ERA is at 3.27, which is higher than his actual ERA at 2.59.

Bauer has actually given up the most barrel percentage in the entire league (of qualified pitchers) at 10.6%. He has also given up the 10th highest percentage of Hard Hits as well at 42.4%.

Bauer probably wouldn’t be able to maintain his low ERA for the entire season, but he still was a very valuable player for the Dodgers, and they will now possibly be without one of their best starters for a lengthy amount of time.

In the event Bauer is suspended or the Dodgers flat out cut ties with the ace, they could end up being major buyers at the 2021 MLB trade deadline.

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How Will the Dodgers Replace Bauer?

The Dodgers have one of the deepest rotations in all of baseball. They have the second lowest ERA among starting rotations, just behind the New York Mets.

L.A.’s collective starters’ ERA is an impressive 3.05. Look at the stud pitchers who help make up that gaudy number.

  • Clayton Kershaw (3.39 ERA)
  • Walker Buehler (2.49 ERA)
  • Julio Urias (3.89 ERA)

Trevor Bauer (2.59 ERA) also adds to that if he’s on the active roster.

Now that Bauer might be out long-term, the Dodgers will replace him with a combination of Tony Gonsolin, David Price, and maybe Jimmy Nelson. All three of them have starting experience and the Dodgers could also add another starting pitcher at the trade deadline, as noted.

Bauer Can’t Stop Making Headlines

Bauer is routinely in MLB headlines. This time for a bad reason. He typically makes headlines from being a big personality and his strong opinions when it comes to sticky stuff.

He is an entertaining player to watch because of his swagger, but that can rub other players and coaches the wrong way.

If Bauer were a batter, he would probably get hit by a pitch on a consistent basis.

Bauer’s high energy is good for baseball as it adds flare to a game that can be very slow paced at times. MLB has coined the phrase, “Let the Kids Play,” but players and coaches around the league are still not fans of showing emotion.

Bauer is a positive player in that aspect, but he finds himself in a lot of trouble with his most recent headlines. This is naturally at best a distraction for the Dodgers, while these horrific allegations could potentially end his career, if found to be true.

How Will the Dodgers Fare Without Trevor Bauer?

The Dodgers are still favored to win the NL West in 2021. They certainly have the firepower to withstand losing one of their top pitchers and still win their division.

The Giants and Padres are behind the Dodgers in the division race. They will make it a competitive race, but L.A. still stands in as the most talented team in the NL West, with or without Bauer.

In addition, the Dodgers remain the favorites to win the NL, and they’re also still the top 2021 World Series favorites.

L.A. still has a loaded offense, as well as one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. Bauer put their defense over the top. Losing him would just level the playing field to a degree.

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