Until recently, the consensus has been that the Arizona Diamondbacks would not call up Trevor Bauer unless there was an injury or a trade of a member of the current starting rotation.
Arizona Sports 620's John Gambadoro brought up the idea earlier this week that the team could carry a six-man rotation in order to give Bauer a few starts without facing much of a risk.
If Bauer struggles, the advantage would be that the team could then demote him back to Triple-A without having lost a starting pitcher to a trade.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf on Wednesday that the coaches have discussed the option.
"We've discussed it a little, Gibson and I, and [pitching coach] Charles Nagy, but not at depth. Maybe after we get back home we will re-evaluate after this road trip and see if it makes sense or not."
Bauer has proved himself to the Diamondbacks so far this season with an 11-1 record in the minor leagues (including 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA for Triple-A Reno).
The current starting rotation, however, has performed well enough this season that the coaching staff has not been in a hurry to call up Bauer.
"Really there's nobody in the rotation that I'd want to take out," Towers said. "This kid still has less than 150 professional innings. His time down there pitching against the better prospects in Triple-A will only help in his development and better prepare him for the big leagues."
Bauer has also faced plenty of big league talent while with the Reno Aces. In his most recent start Bauer faced Troy Tulowitzki, who is rehabbing with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Tulowitzki went 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBI against Bauer.
He has also faced Micah Owings, who went 1-for-2 against Bauer on June 8, while Vladimir Guerrero went 0-for-3 on June 2 and Manny Ramirez was 2-for-3 with one RBI on May 28.
There are also stipulations to Towers' discussion of a six-man rotation.
"If it was for a short period of time, a time where you have very few off days and maybe you thought your pitchers were extending themselves a lot and you want to give them an extra day to recover, it works."
Towers' conditions seem pretty specific, but they may fall in line over the next month. After the July 10 All- Star Game, the D-backs play 20 games in a row ending on July 31, which just so happens to be the trade deadline.
Towers could use the opportunity to test the waters with Bauer and then trade Saunders if he proves to be the better option.