Indians’ Bauer takes demotion in stride

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It became official Thursday morning: Trevor Bauer will not leave camp as the owner of a job in the Indians’ rotation.

That isn’t a surprise, even if Bauer is the most touted pitching prospect in the Cleveland organization since Drew Pomeranz. Even before the outset of spring training, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti seemed to be leaning toward giving Bauer more time to develop at Triple-A Columbus.

The broad hints thrown around by the Indians’ deep thinkers came to fruition 10 days before the end of spring training. Bauer joined left-handed reliever Scott Barnes and right-handed starter Corey Kluber in being optioned to Triple-A. Nonroster invitee Giovanni Soto, another lefty, was reassigned to the minor-league camp.

Moreover, manager Terry Francona announced that right-hander Jerry Gil, another nonroster invitee, was told that he would begin the season in Triple-A but was staying in big-league camp.

“Right now, Scott Kazmir and Carlos Carrasco are fighting for the last spot,” Francona said. “We have them ahead of those guys (Bauer, Kluber).”

Including players who will not be ready for the start the season because of injuries, those sent back to the minor-league camp and those who haven’t officially been returned to the minors but have been told that Columbus is their eventual destination, 33 players, eight over the active roster limit, remain in major-league camp.

Bauer seemed unfazed by the news he was going back to the minors.

“The season starts in a couple of weeks, so wherever I am, on whatever day, I’m just getting ready for the season.”

Wasn’t he disappointed not to win a roster spot?

“You can imagine what you want,” he said. “I’m trying to get better and get ready for the season. That’s all I can control.

“Spring training is an interesting time. I want to get ready for the season and work on stuff, and I don’t always perform at my best. I want to perform at my best, but I’m trying to get ready for the season. It’s kind of an interesting dichotomy.”

Dodgers

Ramirez expected to be out 8 weeks: In Tucson, Ariz., shortstop Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday on his injured right thumb and is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks.

The Dodgers said Thursday that an MRI indicated that a ligament in Ramirez’s thumb was torn.

Ramirez suffered the injury Tuesday night while playing for the Dominican Republic in its victory over Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic championship game in San Francisco.

Ramirez was at third base when he suffered the injury. The Dodgers moved him to shortstop, his original position, after obtaining him from the Miami Marlins on July 25.

Dr. Steve Shin, a sports-medicine hand specialist, is scheduled to perform the surgery in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers were in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday for a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs.

Braves

Hudson will start season opener: In Kissimmee, Fla., Tim Hudson has been picked to start on opening day for the Atlanta Braves.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez announced his choice Thursday. It will be the third time Hudson has pitched the opener for Atlanta. He also made three opening-day starts with Oakland.

Hudson will start at home on April 1 against Philadelphia. Paul Maholm and Kris Medlen will follow in the three-game series.

Mike Minor will start against the Chicago Cubs at home on April 5 and rookie Julio Teheran will complete the Braves’ rotation.

Hudson was 16-7 with a 3.62 ERA last year. He has a 105-65 career record in eight seasons with the Braves.