The Cincinnati Reds announced their rotation coming out of the weekend following an off day today. That rotation was as follows: Luis Castillo, Wade Miley, Anthony DeSclafani, Sonny Gray, and Trevor Bauer. The new order gets left-handed starter Wade Miley back into things after spending some time on the injured list, but it also pushes Trevor Bauer back a few days. If there are no postponements, he won’t take the mound next until August 15th – a full eight days since he made his last start.
The Reds didn’t announce why Trevor Bauer was pushed back and given so much extra rest between starts. With that said, he may very well need it. On August 1st he was supposed to start in Detroit, and he went through much of his pre-game routine only to have the game delayed and then postponed. He was quite upset about the situation believing that someone really messed up waiting so long to delay the game and jeopardizing the health of the starting pitchers in the game and potentially costing them their turn in the rotation.
But the next day, Bauer took the mound for game two of the double header. He was quite successful in the game, allowing just two hits in a 7.0 inning complete game shutout that included seven strikeouts. Following the game, though, Bauer spoke about how he had to power through the outing.
“I monitor my body extremely closely. So I went home last night, I did a bunch of recovery, I checked my blood three times. I checked muscle damage. I knew that today was going to be a struggle because I was twice as – like, my blood levels were twice as high as they normally are going into a start because of yesterday. I went out there, and I pitched anyway because (of) the competitor I am and we needed to a win. I’m here to win for my team, but what they did yesterday is absolute B.S. No other way around it. So yeah, I was, I was concerned that I might not be able to start today for all those reasons.”
Despite the success, Trevor Bauer’s velocity was down on the day. He averaged just 93.4 MPH on his fastball. In his first start of the year he averaged 95.0 MPH. That’s not exactly a shocker given how things had played out the day before – his arm was not 100%.
He had lobbied to start every 4th day before the season began, and there was a chance for that to happen the following Thursday as the team needed someone to step in and make the start in Cleveland, but the Reds decided that wasn’t the best idea. So Bauer took the mound on Friday in Milwaukee on normal rest. He was dominant against the Brewers, striking out 12 batters with just one walk and one earned run – coming on a solo homer – in 6.0 innings.
The good news was that the Reds won and Bauer had outstanding results. The not-so-great news was that his fastball velocity was down again as he averaged just 92.3 MPH on his fastball. He’s only had an average fastball velocity in a start lower than that twice in his career and both of them came in 2015 (April 28th and October 1st). Only one time since the beginning of 2016 has he been under an average of 93.0 MPH on his fastball for any game before Friday in Milwaukee and that was in his final start of the 2018 regular season when he averaged 92.8 MPH.
The Reds didn’t specify the reasoning for pushing Trevor Bauer back in the rotation. It most certainly isn’t to due his on-field results, where you could argue he’s been the best pitcher in the league thanks to a 0.93 ERA, a 0.57 WHIP, seven hits allowed in 19.1 innings, just four walks, and 32 strikeouts (he leads the league in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP, and hits per 9-innings pitched). But they can easily read the same charts that we can and see that his velocity is down, significantly, over his last two starts. And they probably would like to get his arm a little bit of extra rest to see how he rebounds from it.