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Updated Jun 26, 2012 - 1:06 pm

Gibson confirms: Trevor Bauer to start Thursday for D-backs

The wait is finally over.

Trevor Bauer will make his major league debut Thursday in Atlanta, ending a wait that has seemingly gone on since the right-hander was drafted third overall in 2011.

"Yes he is," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Tuesday when asked if Bauer was going to start Thursday. "Trevor Bauer's going to start. He'll try to get in here [Wednesday] sometime, and then he'll be toeing the rubber for us on Thursday night."

Speculation began Sunday that Bauer would get promoted after he was pulled from his Triple-A start after just 2 2/3 innings and 50 pitches, with the thought being he'd take the injured Joe Saunders' spot in the rotation.

Saunders was placed on the DL Saturday with a strained left elbow, and Gibson said the veteran will be shut down for a few days.

Bauer is 11-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 116 strikeouts this season, having split time between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. The team's top prospect, Gibson is aware of how much everyone has been waiting for this moment, and wants to ensure the rookie does not feel any added pressure.

"I just want him to come up and use the things that we've been working on in preparation to be successful," Gibson said of his expectations. "We're trying to win games here, so I think you've got to keep it like anyone else."

Gibson said Bauer won't be on any type of pitch count, though he admitted they will be cautious with the 21-year-old. Still, the skipper expects Bauer to "get into it" Thursday and pitch well.

But, he cautioned, expectations must be managed.

"Let's keep and have realistic expectations here right out of the gate," Gibson said. "We don't expect him to come up here and throw a no-hitter, we don't want him to expect to do that."

But now everyone can expect to see Bauer pitch for the D- backs Thursday, and that should be enough to satisfy most.

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