First Take on Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer's first career major league start with the Indians will forever be remembered as him being the first pitcher to walk the first four batters of a game since John Danks of the White Sox in 2009 and the first Indian since Bartolo Colon. However, Bauer's start was confirmation of everything we have heard about him: has a high ceiling, unpolished, raw, yet fun to watch.

Bauer reminded me of Tim Lincecum due to similarities in mechanics. Both have small frames that generate good velocity through a tremendous amount of torque in their windup. With Bauer, he has a propensity to dip his throwing shoulder when his throwing arm reaches the slot right before it begins to move forward, as pointed out by commentator Rick Manning during the broadcast. This will cause him to "push" the ball toward the plate instead of throwing it. If the shoulders are not leveled out somewhat at this point in his delivery, it could lead to an injury. Although, it could be argued that anything in the pitcher's delivery could lead to an injury.
 
Bauer showcased almost everything in his arsenal with the only exception being the screwball that is classified by pitch f/x. As a starter, he certainly has the potential to be a good number two or three. The difference between the speed of his fastball in which he topped at 94mph and curveball at 76mph is a good indication he can keep hitters off balance. If or when he can learn how to command his fastball, the difference in his pitch speed will force hitters to do more guessing at the plate or else risk getting frozen. Until then, hitters will simply anticipate the breaking ball and lay off the fastball.

During the middle of the shaky first inning in which he walked the four in a row, Bauer flashed a little of his potential during the Evan Longoria at-bat. On a 1-1 count with the bases loaded, he threw Longoria a 76 mph change up on the outer half of the plate in which he swung and missed. It was such a good change-up that I originally thought it was a fastball until I looked at the pitch speed on the "fox box." It was only the second time in the entire inning in which Bauer hit his spot, the first being the first pitch of the game- a 92mph fastball down the middle of the plate.

After seeing Bauer, it’s obvious the stuff is there for him to become a good starter for the Indians in the relatively near future. With four quality pitches and the ability to throw them from nearly identical release points, Bauer’s mechanics are sharp. However, with his being a cerebral pitcher, the potential is there for Bauer to unlock additional fastball movement and sharpen his command, leaving additional room for growth.

 

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