Culture

Cleveland Indians Reveal Bizarre Reason They Shuffled Their Pitching Rotation for ALCS

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona stepped out of the shower Friday morning to find a message on his phone from Chris Antonetti, the Indians’ president of baseball operations. Antonetti simply asked Francona to call him.

“I was like, ‘Uh oh,'” Francona told reporters at a Friday press conference. “You could’ve given me a lot of guesses and I wouldn’t have come up with this one.”

When he returned the call he learned that pitcher Trevor Bauer, scheduled to start Game 2 of the American League Champion Series on Saturday, had suffered a “drone-related injury.”

You read that right.

Bauer, who has been described as a “drone enthusiast,” was reportedly performing maintenance on his drone when the injury occurred to the pinkie of his right hand. The laceration required ten stitches to his pitching hand.

Because of the injury, Bauer was moved to the number three spot in the rotation, switching spots with Josh Tomlin, who will start on Saturday. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday, which will give Bauer’s injury more time to heal.

Bauer tried throwing the ball at Progressive Field on Friday but experienced some bleeding.

“You can’t have that during a game,” Francona said, “and you can’t cover it.”

Francona is no doubt remembering coaching Curt Schilling in the 2004 ALCS, when the All Star pitched seven innings with stitches in his ankle and blood soaking through his sock.

Hand surgeon Thomas Graham will travel with the team to Toronto on Monday.

“He was really optimistic that, given the extra 48 hours, he’ll be good to go,” Francona said.

Next page: This isn’t Bauer’s first “drone incident”

Bauer experienced some drone-related problem earlier in the season on a road trip to Kansas City when he flew a drone—one that he designed and built himself—into a tree in a public park. The drama that ensued played out on Twitter:

Apparently, no fans came to the rescue, but the Royals’ clubhouse attendants did.

Bauers described the rescue to MLB.com:

A couple of the [Royals’] clubhouse staff called me up at 12:30 last night. They brought a fishing pole out, fishing line and a hook. We were casting it up in the tree and the hook kept getting stuck. We had to cut the line. So, we decided to screw the fishing line into a baseball. We had three baseballs, so we were throwing baseballs out there at it, trying to hook it on the branch. We got two baseballs stuck in the tree. We had one left, so we screwed the fishing line into it and one of the clubbies threw the ball up there and missed the drone by a couple inches the first time. The ball fell down and he threw it up there again, literally, in the perfect spot and knocked it down.

Maybe it would be a good idea for Bauer to stay away from the drones for a while–at least until after the World Series.