The Los Angeles Dodgers did not sign Trevor Bauer to impress during Spring Training, but he nonetheless accomplished as much Monday at Camelback Ranch. Bauer allowed just one hit, retired six batters in a row and finished with two strikeouts over two scoreless innings.
He had social media buzzing, and impressed fans in the stands along with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. But it was largely just another outing to the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.
“It felt good to be back out doing my job, but no real butterflies or adrenaline rush either,” Bauer said after his outing. “I got a little bit of an adrenaline rush when I signaled fastball at the last hitter.”
The tipped fastball was pulled foul by former Dodgers farmhand Connor Joe, who then struck out.
“I’m looking forward to when the games matter and I get those butter flies, those adrenaline rushes. That’s what I live for, so I’m excited for that,” Bauer added.
His first pitch in a Dodgers uniform went for ball and was followed by command issues. Bauer then settled in and relied on a particularly effective breaking. “I just need to build up my pitch count, basically,” he said.
“All my pitches are pretty much where I want them to be. Every time you take the mound, one pitch is a little bit better, a little bit worse. I found command in the second inning.”
Bauer expects to reach three innings and 45 pitches in his next outing. The progression he anticipates will be an additional 15 pitches each time, leaving him at six innings and 90 pitches heading into Opening Day.
Like most other veteran pitchers, results aren’t necessarily the focus for Bauer. “It’s mainly command, how many strikes did I throw, did I put the ball where I wanted to more often than not. That’s pretty much it for me,” he said for evaluating Spring Training starts.
“Have four or five pitches to sharpen up. I felt like my fastball command was OK after the first hitter of the game. Cutter command was pretty good, curveball and slider command was good in the second inning once I locked it in. That’s really all it is.
“But I come into Spring Training ready to go, so it’s just about building up the pitch count.”
Bauer closely analyzes data
Bauer is considered one of the most forward-thinking players in the sport, and that encompasses tracking and then analyzing data of himself. “I spend probably an hour a day between logging data, taking my measurements and doing that stuff,” he explained.
“I collect like 40 to 50 metrics on myself every day and then I employ four or five analysts that do a lot of that work for me. Between consultants and full-time employees, I have a team that looks at it and gives me advice.
“I have the right people in place and we spend a lot of time on it. It’s very important.”
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