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Trevor Bauer is scuffling in Japan, which sucks for him and only him. After an MLB arbitrator reinstated Bauer this past December and the Dodgers DFA'd him in January, Bauer was eligible to play but remained a free agent. No other major-league team kicked the tires on the starting pitcher, who on top of being an unrelenting dick had been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Bauer has since suffered a series of setbacks on defamation complaints filed against an accuser and several media organizations, but this did not interrupt his quest for full-time employment. On March 13, lacking any better career moves, Bauer agreed to an incentive-laden contract with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

Admittedly I don't follow a lot of NPB action, but in general I would expect a 2020 Cy Young winner, not too distantly removed from his prime, to at least turn in some consistent outings. That has not been Bauer's experience. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball in his NPB debut, but things have gone sharply south in his subsequent appearances. In his second start, on May 9, Bauer allowed 11 hits, three dingers, and seven runs (six earned) across six rough innings. On May 16, Bauer allowed seven runs, but this time in just two completed innings of work, needing a whopping 69 pitches to record six outs. After three starts spread over 13 days, Bauer had pitched to an ERA of 8.40 and a 1.87 WHIP, numbers that would make even Patrick Corbin upchuck.

The situation got worse for Bauer and funnier for everyone else on May 19, when DeNA manager Daisuke Miura announced that Bauer had been sent back to the BayStars' Eastern League affiliate for what was described as an "adjustment start" against minor-league competition. Bauer took the mound Sunday against the Chiba Lotte Marines' farm team, and on his third pitch of the game served up this lead-off dinger to batter Daito Yamamoto:

Bauer's day improved from there, as he scattered a total of eight hits and struck out 10 over six innings of work against a farm team that as of writing has a 13-23-3 record, the second-worst in the Eastern League standings. Still, it's with performances like these that Bauer will earn his way back to the top level of Nippon Professional Baseball, where he is playing in exile due to his well-earned reputation in his home country as a radioactive piece of crap.

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