Bauer’s goal: Be ‘better person, a better player’ with Reds

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer throws before the team’s baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

By CHARLES ODUM

ATLANTA (AP) — As Trevor Bauer enjoys a fresh start with the Cincinnati Reds, he’s hoping to learn from the last fastball he threw for the Cleveland Indians.

The one that cleared the center-field wall.

Bauer, who was traded from the Indians on Wednesday , joined his new Reds teammates Thursday. He will make his first start for Cincinnati against the Braves on Saturday night.

Bauer said he wants to learn from his strange farewell to Cleveland which added to his reputation as a temperamental but talented right-hander.

After allowing a two-run single to Nicky Lopez that gave the Kansas City Royals a 7-5 lead in the fifth inning of Cleveland’s 9-6 loss Sunday, an angry Bauer turned and heaved the baseball over the 410-foot mark on the center-field wall. Bauer’s unexpected reaction came as manager Terry Francona emerged from the dugout to make a pitching change.

The 28-year-old Baue was fined by Major League Baseball . Instead of being left to mend his reputation in Cleveland, Bauer enjoyed a warm welcome with his new Reds teammates.

“It will be nice to meet you guys and start fresh and learn a new culture and contribute any way I can and try to help as much as I can,” Bauer said to reporters in the clubhouse before Thursday night’s game against Atlanta.

Francona acknowledged after the trade he had been worried about the long-lasting fallout of Bauer’s temper tantrum. Reds manager David Bell said there’s no impact on Bauer’s welcome to the Reds.

“No, there’s not,” Bell said. “I don’t know Trevor yet. I’ve had many people reach out with very encouraging things about Trevor being added to our team. I’m really looking forward to getting to know him. I do believe he’s going to be a great fit on this team and the culture that we have, not only as a pitcher but just what he brings from a competitive standpoint.”

Added Bell: “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game, so anytime you can add that to what we are already, what we believe is already a strong pitching staff, it’s exciting.”

Bauer is 9-8 with a 3.79 ERA in 24 starts. He leads the AL in innings and is fourth in strikeouts. He said he understands he’ll be judged by his behavior as well as his performance.

“I’ll try to learn from my past and be a better person, a better player, everything,” he said. “You grow from there.”

Bauer said he has been reminded this week that “I’m human.”

“It’s nice to feel that sometimes,” he said. “I spend so much time thinking and I don’t generally have, like, strong emotional reactions to very much. I definitely had some strong emotional reactions this past week. So it’s good to feel human. Obviously I don’t want to repeat that.

“I haven’t had time to really process everything, that on top of the trade. I’ll get back to what I learned from that as I have time to process it.”

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More AP MLB: HERE and TWITTER.

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