Ever since turning pro, Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has looked at the game of baseball like a lot of people look at their jobs. And since that time, Bauer hasn’t found the same joy in certain aspects of the game as he did when he was younger.



Bauer said on Thursday, expanding from last season, that he doesn’t like the game as much and used to love it before adding that it’s certain aspects of it that he just no longer enjoys. This isn’t a new development, but something Bauer has dealt with for several seasons.



“Everyone has things they dislike about their job, everyone has things they like about their job,” Bauer. “Even if it’s at the end of the day and they feel like they’re being productive doing something or putting food on the table for their family or whatever the case may be. Overall, baseball is a net positive in my life for sure.”



But, Bauer said, something hasn’t been the same since baseball became his professional occupation. On the mound, Bauer is where he wants to be. And in the offseason, he can put his analytical mind to its full capacity, researching the game. But aspects of preparation and daily work in baseball aren’t seen as enjoyable to him.



“I like different aspects of it,” he said. “I like doing research, I like the adrenaline rush of competing. Other than that, to say you enjoy doing the same thing every day, all the tedious work it takes to get ready to throw and recover and to lift and to maintain strength, to say I really enjoy that would be a lie.”



When asked what keeps Bauer going, he said, “What else am I going to do?”



“I’ve spent 20 years doing this,” he said. “I’m 25 years old. What else am I going to do at this point? I still have goals in my career that I want to accomplish for personal satisfaction, prove to myself that I can do certain things. Obviously there’s a lot of team goals I want to accomplish—haven’t been to the playoffs, hasn’t won a world series. There are still things to do. When I actually pitch, it’s fun. But other than that, I could do without it.”



This is what Bauer is good at, and it’s that potential and competition with hitters that has kept him driven through it all. He’s long been a top prospect with a high ceiling, albeit at times that potential has come with quite a bit of risk.



?Last season, Bauer went 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 176 innings pitched. As the season went on, walks and home runs began adding up, and he ended the season in the bullpen after a poor August and disastrous September.



He hopes to build on that year, and capitalize on the things he does well. And, he hopes to stay on the mound a bit longer each night. That part has remained the same.