Goodyear, Ariz. — Trevor Bauer lost his grip on a starting job.
Bauer, who made 30 starts last season and figured to be part of Cleveland’s strong rotation in 2016, will be pitching out of the bullpen.
Indians manager Terry Francona finalized his starting rotation Wednesday, and it doesn’t include Bauer, the quirky, hard-throwing right-hander who led the American League in walks in 2015 but has had a very solid spring camp.
Bauer, who pitched six scoreless innings in his last outing, will be used in a relief role. Francona named Cody Anderson and Josh Tomlin the club’s No. 4 and No. 5 starters behind Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.
Indians president Chris Antonetti said the decisions weren’t easy.
“We still expect all six guys to make a lot of meaningful starts,” Antonetti said. “We used 11 starting pitchers last year. There are pitchers beyond these six that will make meaningful starts. To start the season, this was the way we felt was best for the team. Building on the success that Josh and Cody both had in the second half of the season, and what they were able to carry forward in the offseason and spring, really led us down this path.”
Francona said Bauer did not take the news well.
“We completely respect that. I wouldn’t be happy if I was him today. I don’t blame him for that,” Francona said. “What is important is handling it and moving on as a team. That’s part of why we’re here, not just to deliver bad news but put the best team in the field and be there when guys need help.”
Bauer, 25, went 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA last season, finishing the year pitching in relief. He’s 17-22 in three seasons with the Indians, which acquired him a three-team trade in 2012 from the Diamondbacks.
Tomlin had some struggles early in camp but recently found his groove. He pitched six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in a win over the Mariners on Tuesday, a performance that may have sealed his spot in the rotation.
“Them needing to make tough decisions are a good thing on our part, I feel like,” said Tomlin, who went 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 starts last season after recovering from shoulder surgery.
“We need to put personal preferences aside. You do whatever you can to help your team win games. The goal should be to try to win the World Series, not I’d rather start, I’d rather be in the bullpen.”
Reyes’ case to be dropped
Maui prosecutors are moving to dismiss a domestic abuse charge against suspended Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes because his wife has decided not to cooperate.
Deputy prosecuting attorney Kerry Glen said she expects to file documents to drop the case.
Reyes’ wife won’t talk to prosecutors or return to Maui, Glen said.
Reyes was scheduled to go to trial April 4. He pleaded not guilty to abusing a family or household member.
The former Mets shortstop was arrested Oct. 31 at the Wailea Four Seasons Resort. According to a recording of a 911 call released by police, a hotel security guard reported the woman had injuries to her leg and scratches on her neck.
Around the horn
The Mariners acquired right-hander Nick Vincent from the Padres for a player to be named.
... Rockies reliever Jason Motte has a shoulder strain that manager Walt Weiss says makes it “very possible” he’ll miss the season-opening series against the Diamondbacks.
... Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz has been optioned to Triple A Gwinnett.
... The Orioles released right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who will receive 45 days’ termination pay, $1,254,098, instead of the $5.1 million salary he agreed to in January.
... The Reds sent right-handed pitchers Ryan Mattheus, Drew Hayes, J.C. Ramirez and Pedro Villarreal and outfielder Tyler Holt to the minors, leaving 38 players in camp.
... After allowing iPad Air 2s with restrictions in dugouts during the final two weeks of last season and the postseason under a pilot program, the MLB reached a deal with Apple that gives iPad Pros to all teams this year along with a new scouting, analytics and video app called MLB Dugout.