SAN DIEGO -- D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said it was possible that recently signed first-round Draft pick Trevor Bauer could see some time in the Arizona bullpen this year.
"I don't think we envision him as a bullpen guy down the road," Towers said. "But sometimes with young players, it's the best way to break them into the big leagues, especially in September when you've got the expanded roster and you can pick and choose the times you bring them into the game."
For now, the right-hander will report to Class A Visalia in the California League.
With the D-backs wanting to have Bauer pitch 30 to 40 innings over the next two months, he would likely pitch out of the bullpen if he's promoted to the big leagues in September.
By giving him a taste of the Majors this year, the D-backs hope it would give him a head start on 2012, when he is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation.
"[D-backs manager Kirk Gibson] has asked me the same question," Towers said, when asked if Bauer earning a rotation spot next spring was realistic. "And it's always different once you get into a big league stadium and it's some better hitters than he's probably faced, but from the little I've been around this kid, mentally and physically, I think he's got the right head and the rubber arm. I think he can handle the workload, handle the pressure, but we'll find out in the spring."