God bless Trevor Bauer and the abundant time on his hands. The newest member of Cleveland’s rotation took to his @BauerOutage youtube account this week to answer some fan questions: specially the grips he uses for his various pitches.
Which, personally, I cannot get enough of. I would watch these videos all damn day, were I able. What I wouldn’t give to sit down every pitcher in the game and make them do the same thing. The most interesting part for me (other than the reverse slider trickery) is the slight difference between his two change ups.
Trevor Bauer’s pitch f/x charts can be tough to read. By his own admission, Bauer throws a lot of pitches (two change ups, reverse slider, occasional splitter) which tend to behave or appear very similar to the pitch identification system. Smart guys like Harry Pavlidis might be able to discern the difference but my excel tinkering simply takes years off my life.
Listening to Bauer speak openly about the desired outcomes for his myriad pitches — the wilful difference between a pitch “thrown for a strike” and one intended to coax a swing-and-miss — is engrossing. There is an air of educated gym rat which endears Bauer to me immediately.
One niggling thought I can’t escape: as interesting/cool as Bauer’s willingness to throw a variety of pitches and tinker on the mound, might a more streamlined approach help him in the short-term? Throwing strikes remains a challenge for the young righty, both in the minor leagues and majors alike.
It isn’t as if his stuff is marginal and he needs the smoke and mirrors to survive. Grab ball, huck over plate, profit. Seems simple enough to me, Trevor. Would junking some of the more finesse offerings allow Bauer to command the strike zone a little better?
Only Bauer knows for sure. A quick stroll down Speculation Lane might perhaps suggest that, during his time as a Diamondback, subtle nudges along this line caused some of the “friction” between Bauer and the decidedly old-school management team in Arizona. One thing I know for sure: it is my sincere hope that Trevor Bauer makes the Tribe out of Spring Training, as Geekin’ Out with his guy is my 2013 goal.