Trevor Bauer is scheduled to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium for the first time Tuesday evening when they begin a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies.
The 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner signed a three-year contract with the Dodgers Feb. 11 worth $102 million, including $40 million this season, the highest single-season salary in baseball history, according to multiple outlets.
Bauer is tied for ninth in MLB among qualified pitchers, allowing 0.69 walks and hits per inning. Opposing batters are hitting .130 against Bauer, also ninth in the MLB among qualified pitchers.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he has been “very impressed” but not surprised by Bauer’s performance this season — he’s in a three-way tie for seventh in strikeouts with 20.
Bauer has pledged to donate $1,000 per strikeout throughout the regular season for what has been dubbed “Ks for a Cause” to support local nonprofit organizations focused on STEM and youth programming in the greater Los Angeles area.
April’s designated beneficiary organization is Think Together, which delivers early learning and afterschool programs and student support services. Specifically, Bauer’s donation will help fund afterschool science, technology, engineering, math and robotics programming for middle school students in southeast Los Angeles.
The former UCLA and Hart High School standout will be facing Colorado for the second time this season.
The right-hander held Colorado hitless through six innings April 2 in Denver, then allowed a leadoff single to Trevor Story in the seventh, followed by a home run by Charlie Blackmon.
Bauer walked the next batter he faced, C.J. Cron, then allowed a home run by Ryan McMahon. Bauer struck out the final batter he faced, Garrett Hampson, for his 10th strikeout, before being relieved by David Price.
Bauer limited the Oakland Athletics to three hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings Wednesday, again striking out 10 in a 4-3 10-inning loss at Oakland in a game the Dodgers led 3-2 when Corey Knebel replaced Bauer on the mound.
Bauer is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA.
In his final season at UCLA, 2011, Bauer won the Golden Spikes Award, presented by USA Baseball, the sport’s national governing body, to the top amateur player in the nation when he led the nation with 203 strikeouts, setting the Pac-12 Conference’s single-season record.
Bauer was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the third selection in the 2011 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut with the Diamondbacks in 2012. He was traded to Cleveland on Dec. 11, 2012. He remained with the Indians until July 31, 2019, when he was traded to Cincinnati.
Roberts described the 30-year-old Bauer as “competitive, intelligent, curious” as a pitcher.
“He’s always trying to get better,” Roberts said.