Indians’ Bauer throws to hitters for first time since injury

Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND— Trevor Bauer threw to hitters for the first time since breaking his right leg last month and hopes to be back on the mound for Cleveland in time for the postseason.

The right-hander pitched three simulated innings of about 17-to-19 pitches per inning and jokingly told manager Terry Francona he was available against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

“I’m glad he feels that way,” Francona said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen, but it’s nice to hear him say that.”

Bauer is 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA in 25 starts. He has been sidelined since he was struck on the lower leg by a line drive off the bat of Chicago’s Jose Abreu on Aug. 11.

He pitched to Indians reserves Eric Haase, Adam Rosales and Brandon Barnes.

“The biggest takeaway is that I was able to completely focus on competing instead of being worried about or noticing if there’s any discomfort,” Bauer said. “I didn’t really think about it at all, and that’s the most important thing.”

Bauer hopes to pitch in a game before the regular season ends Sept. 30. Francona said a meeting will be held with Bauer and the team’s medical staff.

“The quicker we can get him in a game without risk the better,” Francona said.

Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti says the team has discussed using Bauer as a reliever in the postseason.

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