Trevor Bauer Watch


#1

Trevor Bauer opened the Cactus League play for Cleveland yesterday. I was watching from the comfort of my living room where the pellet stove churned out hot air and outside the single digit wind blew over the frozen field I live on. Those fans in Goodyear, AZ appeared to have slathered on plenty of sunscreen. I resolved to be there next year.

Apparently Trevor Bauer tweaked his mechanics over the winter at the Texas Baseball Ranch run by Ron Wolforth. I was anxious to see the sphinx rise from its ashes. Last year he experienced some growing pains in his Major League appearances and at AAA as well.

I wanted to see two things: I wanted to see him attack the strike zone and I wanted his fastball to have some movement, preferably down in the strikezone. Well, add one more thing…consistency. This is what you want from a number five guy in the rotation. And this from a guy that was drafted #3 overall in 2011 - not too much to ask?

To be fair, the #2 pick, Danny Hultzen is in pitching limbo also. But light years away from the #1 pick, Gerritt Cole who is showing maturity beyond his age with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I was disappointed. I could see the mechanical changes… but the result was the same. The fastball was up and away from lefthanders and he immediately ran the count to 3-2 to lead off hitter Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds. Then the walk, followed by a stolen base, an errant throw from catcher Yan Gomes to the outfield and viola - Hamilton is standing on 3rd base as a result of failure to throw strikes.

Bauer failed to recover and walked the next batter, Brandon Phillips. With first and third…no outs Joey Votto bats. Here is where nine out of ten times Bauer is going to give up a run but this time, Votto strikes out on a high and outside pitch he shouldn’t have been swinging at. I think he did because Phillips was stealing. Gomes gunned Phillips down at second and now Bauer has two outs on an iffy strikem out throwem out and a chance to salvage his first outting.

Bauer coaxed a fly ball to left out of Jay Bruce, took a deep sigh of relief and headed for the dugout. I got to give him credit. If he was sweating it at all, he didn’t show it.


#2

He was sweating :lol:

So do you think it’s attributable at all to spring training jitters and feeling his mortality as it were (Read that as his MLB clock is ticking loudly)?


#3

That is certainly a part of it. Harang is yipping at his heels, Carassco has talent beyond belief but the personality of a hyena. And Marcum is there as well.

Bauer has to take his spot. Francona will defer to experience and would rather not fidget, bite nails, and chew copious amounts of tobacco wrapped in double bubble. You have to have a guy take the mound that puts you at ease instead of turns your stomach into a fisherman’s knot.

He may become that and I hope he does. It’s going to be interesting to watch. I’ll keep my ginger ale and tums handy just in case.


#4

As most intelligent people probably can figure out, there is a lot more going behind the scenes than others realize. Obviously I’m not at liberty to say, but it’s something to think about.

More on topic, here’s a comparison of his 2013 mechanics from when he was in the big leagues (which aren’t the same as the ones he had in minor league ball) to how he looked in his ST start:

I’d embed it here but the file is fairly large, so click through to see it.

EDIT: If I had to guess, unless Carrasco throws at another hitter’s head and gets suspended, he’ll be the #5 because of his situation with options. The majority of baseball roster decisions aren’t made based on talent, anyway.


#5

Kyle:

Can you present the side by side fast ball mechanics?


#6

They’re basically the same. At work now so I don’t have the time to cut them up.


#7

So what’s going on with his glove hand as compared to last year…and why? Somebody else see something because if you listen to Francona and Calloway talk…the difference is night and day. I don’t see night and day here.

A guy in his position…is he making his own adjustments or is he feeling pressured to try different approaches because he has lost leverage with his performance?


#8

When Bauer struggled while he was with the D-backs, I alway felt it was mental. And it may have been. But now, after seeing the mechanical differences in the clips Kyle posted coupled with Kyles comments, it seems teams have been and/or are tinkering with his mechs. Could it be the D-backs tinkered with him causing him to struggle and now he’s being returned to form?

While it’s tough to see in the coarse video Kyle posted, I do like what I see in the video on the right better. The glove arm seems to get into a better equal & opposite position which I think leads to slightly later shoulder rotation, a release point that’s a little further out front (I’m guessing - can’t really see it), and later movement on the pitch.


#9

[quote=“Dino”]So what’s going on with his glove hand as compared to last year…and why? Somebody else see something because if you listen to Francona and Calloway talk…the difference is night and day. I don’t see night and day here.

A guy in his position…is he making his own adjustments or is he feeling pressured to try different approaches because he has lost leverage with his performance?[/quote]

The difference is pretty significant if you watch high-speed video. His velocity is markedly different, back up to 94-97 as well (compared to a crash to 89-91 in the minors last year, and low-90’s while in MLB).

As for your second point, Trevor and I worked in the off-season and he was convinced that some of what we do would be beneficial to integrate into his delivery. We discussed the injuries he had last year as well as the issues in the minors and he worked extremely hard while in Houston to make the changes we jointly agreed upon.

I think as the season goes on, you will notice other changes to his approach as well, if you are savvy with PITCHf/x (or just watch closely).

Again, I can’t say a lot since he’s a client of mine and what is being reported is, well, what is being reported. But as far as I am concerned, as long as Callaway and Francona are happy, then that works for me. I don’t care who gets the credit as long as Trevor is moving in the right direction down the line.


#10

Trevor pitched yesterday, 2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 0 BB. Gave up a two-run bomb to Dustin Ackley (whoops) but didn’t walk anyone. FB velocity was 96-98, sat 97. Callaway and Francona were very pleased.


#11

I missed his performance but from reading about it I’d say it is a step in the right direction. All except for getting behind and setting himself up for that home run.

Bauer has got the talent, he has the arm, he has the experience…but how do you place the final piece? Confidence.

These are the kinds of statements that have me wondering:

“I just tried to throw it as hard as I could, preferably over the plate since it was a 3-1 count,” said Bauer.

And

“I’m weird, though, when I try to command the ball I don’t command it very well,” said Bauer. “I just have to go out there and let it rip and try to throw something over the plate. Which is why when I really didn’t trust my delivery it was hard to throw strikes. “

He sounds like a guy who is at the mercy of some amorphous mystery gods of baseball.

I feel for the guy. He’s had success all his life. I think he is struggling with accepting his current state of affairs. Fear is a mighty adversary.

Like Sgt Spiers said in Band of Brothers,“The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function…”

I am hopeful that working and interacting with Terry Francona will make the difference for Trevor. It takes a Golden Spikes winner to know a Golden Spikes winner. If anybody can get Trevor the space he needs to get this thing together…it’s Terry.


#12

Bauer just turned 23 years old. He came out of college with a ton of hype but I would not be of the mindset he is behind schedule.
He has all the measurable stuff and when it all comes together it could be terrifying. It’s a process.
I think Bauer is plenty confident. He is also stubborn and actually has an opinion about how he wants to do things (goodbye Arizona).
The above quotes don’t portray any lack of confidence to me. He is doing something that is rarely done in sports, he is speaking honestly.
Basically saying he can’t think about the mechanics when he is pitching in game time and he likes his new delivery more than his old. Not a big deal.
Maybe Trevor will master his control at this level and maybe he never will. He may end up a hit and miss guy, like Lincecum, good for either 3 innings and 5 runs and 8 innings with 3 hits…depending on what kind of day he is having.
In reality external expectations don’t mean much in terms of development.
Look at someone like Chad Billingsley. Good arm, great stuff and control issues. He has been allowed to attempt to develop his skill set at the pro level over several years. The main difference is he did not have to deal with the level of expectation that comes with being “that guy” in the draft. Sadly when it appeared Chad finally had it dialed in and was pitching very well he got injured.
He is a 23 year old guy with legendary work ethic. My money is on him figuring it out.


#13

Trevor up to 98 MPH again today. 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K.


#14

That’s a good showing. Attaboy.

Just the medicine he needed. A team with a new manager that was 66-96 last year, made no offensive upgrades and look to be the Lovable Losers again this year. Sorry JD

:twisted:


#15

I’m focused right now on one Lanky Lefty working against a Juggernaut called Fla. St. them Cubbies got suck down to an art 8)

So proud of Kyle and Ben :wink:


#16

Trevor’s comments could not be more in line with how I feel.

The more I just let it fly, the better I pitch. The more I try to command the ball, the worse I do. When I go out there and just fire it at the strike zone the ball seems unhittable. When I don’t trust my delivery for whatever reason or start trying to be too fine, not only does my command worsen but my velo drops! Ouch!

The key is not letting the game situation or external factors affect this mindset…easier said than done!

Thanks JD
:shock:

Ben


#17

Lanky,

No doubt, anytime your conscious of mechanics while on the mound, you don’t stand a chance!

I got some video of Stinnett from a scout the other day to review, would love to speak with you. Gimme a shout, info is in DM.

Lantz


#18

Today’s outing:


#19

Well, yes…I could tell the velocity was there.

But here’s the rest of the story. Trevor’s fastball was high often and hittable almost always.

A lead off double.
A groundout.
A walk. After being ahead 1-2.
A long single off the wall to the opposite field. CJ Cron has Trevor’s #.
A really good breaking ball strikeout.
A bunt RBI single past Trevor because he falls off to the firstbase side.
A flyout.


A leadoff walk - fastballs alternated too high and too low.
A single past the shortstop on a hit and run. Now 1st and 3rd.
A stolen base and a ball into the outfield on the throw down. (I’ve seen that before?)
Sacrifice fly to left field to score another.
Flyout to center.
Line out to the SS.


A single on a low and outside fastball to who? CJ Cron
A monster Homerun by Cowgill on a fastball right down the pipe letter high.
A frozen rope to right center for a triple. Fastball upstairs again.

Stick a fork in him. He was scheduled to go three innings.

Two innings - 7 runs - 7 hits- 2 walks - 1 K

Obviously, I’m no expert. But that fastball up in the zone ain’t going to cut it. He’s got to cut out the walks get his fastball down and throw strikes at the knees. It was just plain ugly.

Above average velocity though.

:onfire:


#20

I’ve been a big Bauer advocate and still think he is going to be real good but today was just a terrible showing of fastball command. He is a smart guy, he will figure it out.