After dropping their opener against the Rays in a 4-0 shutout Friday, the Indians will look to a fresh face to lead their series comeback.
Trevor Bauer will make his Indians debut Saturday after being called up from Triple-A. Bauer struggled during his last Majors stint with Arizona last season, posting a 6.06 ERA through just 16 1/3 innings.
Regardless, he's not letting himself get too excited, saying he'll keep it cool as he takes the mound at Tropicana Field for Saturday's 7:10 p.m. ET matchup.
"I don't really get too nervous or pumped up or anything like that for anything, really. I'm just kind of more even-keeled. Kind of the same," Bauer said. "[It's] just another baseball game. Same thing I've been doing my whole life."
That's just the kind of steady hand the Tribe will need following Scott Kazmir's rib cage strain that will land him on the 15-day DL.
Bauer already had a productive Spring Training stint prior to being called up Triple-A to replace the former All-Star. Bauer is MLB.com's No. 17 overall prospect and Cleveland's top pitching prospect going into 2013. He was 12-2 in the Minors last season and had a 2.42 ERA through 130 1/3 innings.
After translating some of that success into his short Cactus League stint, going 1-0 through 14 innings, Bauer feels good about where he's at going into his first start.
"I think everyone makes adjustments in Spring Training, so I used the time I had there to work on stuff," Bauer said. "And that's what it's for, to get ready for the season. And so it's season time now, and whatever I have, I have, and I've got to go out there and compete with it."
It will be a battle of right-handers as the Rays counter with Alex Cobb, who enjoyed a quality Spring Training this year with a 2.81 ERA through six starts. He'll look to carry some momentum from the end of 2012, when he went 7-4 with a 3.40 ERA through 14 second-half starts.
"I felt really good this spring. I felt like my mechanics were fresh from the year before," Cobb said. "I started throwing the ball again and it felt like it had just stopped a couple of weeks before and not months in between. I feel very fluent with my delivery and it's able to be repeated easily right now. Hopefully that will continue into tomorrow and as long as I can keep it going."
Cobb added that staying calm during his first start will be a challenge, but he'll have a use for all that extra energy.
"I've been able to kind of control the emotions a lot better since I've been up here. Kind of harness the adrenaline. Used it to my benefit," Cobb said. "Hopefully it will be more along those lines tomorrow night instead of the environment getting too fast for me."
Indians: Kazmir Watch
Kazmir's stint on the DL is retroactive to Tuesday, meaning he could be back in the rotation as soon as April 17. He underwent an MRI exam in Cleveland on Thursday and is expected to miss two or three starts with the minor injury. Manager Terry Francona isn't ready to commit any more starts to Bauer at this point, likely going with right-hander Carlos Carrasco after his six-game suspension is served.
"We're trying to get Carrasco on track," Francona said. "We had a plan set up for him and we didn't want to upset that. The length of Kazmir [on the disabled list], we don't think this is going to be very long. There's other things that could potentially probably weigh into it as we go."
Rays: Niemann Injury
Jeff Niemann has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right-shoulder soreness before Friday night's game, with right-hander Brandon Gomes taking his place. Niemann was set to pitch out of the bullpen after losing his Spring Training battle with Roberto Hernandez for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Mike Aviles enters Saturday's game 12 hits shy of 500. Aviles hit a road block Friday against the Rays, going 0-for-2 with a walk.
Gary Cotton is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.