Well, well well: the Arizona Diamondbacks moved top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer up to AAA Reno less than one year after being made the third pick in the Rule 4 draft. Unfortunately for AA baseball fans, Bauer gets his latest promotion mere hours before an exciting pitching matchup against Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen of Jackson in the Southern League.

The frank Bauer has posted some sterling strikeout numbers in AA but his control remains a concern, posting five walks in a start just eleven days ago. Bauer walked 12.9% of the batters he faced this season in the pitching-rich Southern League. Which seems high until you notice his strikeout rate is just under 30%, which translates to sixty strikeouts in 48 innings.

A move to the notorious Pacific Coast League should be very interesting. Bauer is a vocal proponent of pitching up in the zone which, in the superball offensive environment of the PCL, might provide a significant opportunity for Bauer to learn and develop.

The Diamondbacks rotation is one of the worst in their division (surpassed only by the lackluster Rockies staff) so an infusion of goodness via Bauer is certainly welcome. The DBacks were expected by many to challenge for the division crown but injuries and poor pitching finds them scuffling well below .500 and trailing the hot-starting Dodgers by 8.5 games.

Is Bauer the answer? I seriously doubt it. Wade Miley is giving the Snakes decent innings of late while Patrick Corbin…isn’t. With Josh Collmenter already relegated to the bullpen and Daniel Hudson still working his way back from injury, the Diamondbacks are surviving with these two young pitchers chipping in and Joe Saunders pitching not terribly. One of those things is a nice surprise and the other is shocking/worldview destroying.

The aggressive schedule with Bauer means…I don’t know. Bauer and his (personal) team deserve credit for signing quickly and getting his pro career off to a raring start. Is he on track for a call-up to the big leagues this summer? Certainly seems that way. It will be interesting to watch how the Diamondbacks gauge his progress at the next level and what they plan to do with one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball.