There was certainly an interesting moment in the Cincinnati Reds win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday afternoon in Goodyear. Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was actually pitching out of the bullpen on the day – with the off day today, the Reds preferred to keep him on schedule instead of pushing him back a few days. He came on after Sonny Gray threw 2.2 innings and then Brooks Raley picked up the final out of the third inning.

Matt Beaty led off the inning and was the first hitter that Bauer faced. And he glove-signed what pitches he was going to throw. Here’s the video from Rob Friedman, better known on the interwebs by Pitching Ninja.

Later in the game Jim Day did a dugout interview with Derek Dietrich, and they talked about Bauer telling Beaty what he was going to be throwing.

There’s a little thing going on with sign-stealing. Trevor’s not too fond of it, so he figured he’s going to try something new this season, and he’s going to start telling the batters what’s coming, and that way there’s no if, ands, or buts about what’s going on.

Was Trevor Bauer using pine tar last year?

We mentioned it in the piece about Nick Senzel as a little bit of an add-on note, but it’s time to update. Ben Clemens of Fangraphs wrote about Trevor Bauer’s spin rate increasing dramatically last September. There was a gradual climb over the first few months of the season, but it spiked up in a huge way in September, seemingly overnight. The read itself is worth while if you are into the more advanced pitching data and what things can mean, but don’t always mean, too.

Jeff Passan of ESPN covered Clemens piece over at their site as a part of his 20 questions article that he wrote that was published late on Monday night. Within he notes that Bauer was asked by ESPN if he had used any foreign substance, and Bauer declined to comment.

Photo of Trevor Bauer by Erik Drost. Photo has been edited. License can be found here.

18 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    I’m not sure that everything Bauer tries makes great sense, but I love that he’s deliberate about everything he’s trying. And he’s definitely not boring. Beyond old fashioned good health, I think the keys to Reds pitching success this year are Bauer having a strong bounce back year in the rotation, and Iglesias doing the same in the bullpen. If those two guys step up, the Reds will win a lot of games. Can’t wait.

  2. Hotto4Votto

    Bauer has certainly been entertaining. I can appreciate that.

  3. PhoenixPhil

    Aren’t pitcher supposed to learn from one another? Trevor is just learning this from Wade.

  4. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Passan can’t state this legitimately. Numbers would never tell this. For Passan to legitimately state this, he needs more information.

    Could Bauer been doctoring the baseball? Sure. It could also be how the Reds rub their balls up before the games. It could be Bauer realized something he needed to do.

    Here, numbers would only show correlation. And, when outliers occur, investigation is performed. But, numbers would never state why. The investigation would state that.

    • Philip Raisor

      The problem is that Bauer has used the spin rate argument as “proof” against the Astros.

  5. Justin

    Everything I’ve read and heard from Bauer leads me to believe that he has a great deal of disdain for using methods like pine tar to affect pitches. That said, I think he used/is using it. I’m guessing that he’s trying to force MLB’s hand on it. If he keeps doing it, and it continues to get this sort of media attention, ole’ Rob is going to be forced to address it. Love it.

    • Eddie C

      Just curious, if a batter suspects the ball has been doctored doesn’t the Umpire inspect it and if doctored through the pitcher out of the game? And wouldn’t pine tar be pretty easy to see?

      • centerfield

        The can use sunscreen and mix it with rosin.

  6. AirborneJayJay

    Trevor’s twitter response to the Ninja should have been included in the article. It was classic.
    “Can I get a little ? emoji for sitting 97/98 while doing so, Rob?”

  7. Alex

    So, Bauer is acting self righteous about cheating while……. Declining to comment about him cheating? K.

    • Matt WI

      I think he’s just proving his own point- the MLB doesn’t do enough to enforce it’s own rules. What better troll job than to complain about it, see nothing done, do it himself just to see, and still see nothing done.

      MLB response has clearly been shown to be “Ok, if, and only if someone complains loudly, but also make sure that we put some shame on the complaintant for disturbing the peace. But also… make sure nobody gets to see our games on their tv packages so that they can’t tell people are cheating.”

      Ok… so that last sentence is sour grapes, but the rest is true. 🙂

  8. RojoBenjy

    Well—Bauer is his own agent, isn’t he?

  9. Tom Reeves

    It looks like the guy who’s benefiting the most from all the work Trevor Bauer has done is Sonny Gray.

    Bauer did look strong yesterday.

    As for the pine tar, if he used it for an inning at some point to prove a point, who cares? I can see him making his point that way after baseball has failed to address it. If he’s always using it, that’s a problem.

  10. RedNat

    I personally would take Puig over Bauer everyday and twice on sunday from a personality standpoint. Puig to me is a “showboat” . akin to Dave Parker. yes he loves to show off his arm so he may throw the ball all the way from right filed to home instead of the correct play, hitting the cutoff man but that will not have any effect on the clubhouse.

    Bauer to me seems to be more of a “hotdog”. kind of like Brandon Phillips maybe. a hotdog may be great when things are going well but if things are not he may not hustle or play with a winning attitude. that can effect the clubhouse in a terrible way.

    • Eddie C

      You lost me with your closing statement. Nothing in Bauer’s past indicates he would give anything less than 100%. I would say he’s 100% passionate about the game and I don’t think you can name anyone who puts more effort into improving his game than Trevor does.

  11. DaveCT

    Becoming more of a Bauer fan every day. It’s just a hunch but I’d say his telegraphing pitches was to make a show of support to LA given their history losing to Houston in the post-season. He’s a player’s player, and a strong union guy. Could be wrong but that stuff means a lot to other players. And if he’s trolling Manfred, deal me in.

    Not to mention he was throwing well.

  12. Jake Y.

    It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in baseball that most pitchers are using foreign substances. I remember last year in the game where the broadcast pointed out the pine tar on Chris Archer’s uniform in the very next half inning Robert Stephenson was going to his left forearm (sunscreen/rosin mixture most likely) between almost every pitch. Reds Twitter was in a tizzy over Archer while our own guy was doing it right in front of them and no one said a word.