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.

37 Responses

  1. Gonzo Reds

    Technically only 1/2 game out of a playoff spot (second place in the NL Central gets a playoff spot) but we certainly have a lot to get right and soon. Of course one of the teams we trail are the Cardinals who have only played 5 games. Looks like we’ll be deciding this on percentage points and not a full 60 games. Last time things were decided on percentage points? 1981… the year that will stick in the craw of all us older Reds fans. Hopefully, this will not be a repeat of that debacle!

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      Reds are actually tied with the Braves for the final NL wild card spot.

      Not too bad for a slow start and missing Moose.

    • Daniel

      these 8 vs royals and pirates very important these may be the two worst teams play all year need to make up some ground win 6-8

  2. west larry

    what happened to Mahle? Is he injured? His last outing was outstanding!

    • Doug Gray

      Nothing happened to him – he’s just not in the rotation. He’ll slide into the bullpen for now.

      • Daniel

        i think he will piggyback Miley tomorrow expect Miley to go 3-4 innings and Mahle to come in after for 3-4 innings. Bell talked about doing this in preseason

  3. Bred

    I hope Bauer buys into this shutdown, or the Reds won’t stand a chance resigning him. I do expect them to make a QA and negotiate from there.

      • Bred

        Guess it should have been QO. Qualifying Offer. And I can’t blame auto correct.

    • MK

      I just don’t see Bauer wanting to be anywhere else. As long as Reds make a competitive financial offer he will certainly sign. What is he looking for?
      A. A team than embraces his philosophies on pitching and preparation. The Reds have done that by bringing the Driveline philosophy and staff to organization.

      B. He has a pitching coaches in Johnson and Cathum that let him do his thing with a few helpful tweaks.

      C. It sounds as though the team is OK with him sharing his philosophies with others on the team and in the system as you hear those other pitchers’ interviews. He like that.

      If you read what he says he would have been OK with pushing his last start back because his personal body testing was off but his competitiveness over ruled his brain.

      Basically a perfect environment for him. Why would he want to leave?

      • Mark Moore

        Money … it will come down to money more than anything else. I’d have to guess that even with the uncertainty of 2021, he’ll look for a $30MM and up deal.

      • Roger Garrett

        Money and being on a winning team and usually in that order.Bauer will get paid by somebody with deep pockets and usually those teams are in a big market and are just forced to field a winning team by their fan base.Dodgers,Cubs,Yankees.Red Sox come to mind.I hope you are right and he does stay.

      • TR

        Trevor Bauer is a west coast guy (UCLA), and i get the feeling he likes playing in Cincinnati. If the money is there and the Reds are ok with one year contracts, i think he’ll stay. Bauer is outspoken and he’s become the media representative of the Reds.

      • Daniel

        The one thing that helps the reds is he only wants to sign a one year deal so the other team would not only have to outbid reds but have to give up a draft pick for just a one year player.

  4. Don

    Team is managing the starters well so far this year so there should not be any 2nd guessing of the starting rotation.

    It is good to have both Mahle and Antone in the BP as both can go in early if a starter is really off to pitch 5 innings like Burnes did against the Reds on Saturday.

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      Why not use Mahle and Antone in innings 6-8?

      Those two have proved they can pitch and get guys out this year. The only other bullpen arm to do so is Garrett. I’d make Antone and Mahle the high-leverage guys until Lorenzen, Reed, Jones, etc figure it’s out

  5. Sliotar

    Nice post, Doug.

    The mixing of news, research and some opinion, plus the commentors below the line, continue to make RLN a full-service stop for following the Reds.

    • Doug Gray

      I know it may not always seem like it to everyone (though I do think a lot recognize it) – I am trying to work my butt off over here like the rest of you (at your jobs). Thanks for the kind words.

      • Chris

        No doubt you are Doug, and you do a great job, even though I disagree at times. Thanks for all your work.

      • Gonzo Reds

        Ditto to Chris’s comment. Don’t always agree but do appreciate all the work you put in keeping us updated.

      • Mark Moore

        +500 for the effort from you and your butt …

  6. SultanofSwaff

    Man, as if Mondays aren’t bad enough, the stats for the Reds hitters are equally depressing. Still relatively small sample sizes, but when do you start believing the numbers–1 week? 3?

    You gotta wonder if the Reds are playing it overly safe by stashing ML ready prospects at Prasco. Is there more upside than downside to playing Tyler Stephenson, Jose Garcia, and Aristides Aquino over Casali/Ervin/Galvis? I think there is.

    My preference is the higher ceiling starters, veteran backups model.

  7. JNort

    You put out excellent, quality work every day Doug! Thank you for your efforts!

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      +1000 for Doug and giving us all entertainment in these boring times.

  8. Brian

    Yeah that’s a good point made earlier. Doug do we knows anything about Jose Garcia at prasco? Galvis has been tough to watch so far. Ty steve too?

    • JayTheRed

      Why the Galvis unhappiness. Yes he has had a few poor throws but honestly I don’t think the Reds want to start the clock on Garcia in a shortened season. Galvis has hit ok, sadly better than about half the team even with a batting average just barely over .200.

      I like everyone else wants to know when this team’s hitting is going to start happening. I would be happy with guys batting over.250 at this point.

      • Brian

        I know it’s small sample size and all but he’s .205 with bad defense so far. If we were getting the .250 hitter with a little pop and great defense he had last year then that’s one thing. But he’s been below average defensively and hit not well either. Plus he’s arguably the slowest SS in the game so he provides no value there either. Obviously you don’t want to rush a prospect but the clock thing is a bit overstated if he can help you win. We probably won’t have Bauer, Castillo, gray, and disco in their primes 6 years from now. But we do now and we are probably gonna make the playoffs so my question is simple. Is Jose Garcia the best SS in the organization. If so, he needs to be up.

  9. Northern Kentucky Reds

    If we had a good crafty veteran manager, he could make sense of this. Davidson and Janikowski over Aquino? The pitchers need regular work instead of sitting around. Shorten this Roster Now! way too many outfielders for me because It just feels like a cluster. Janikowski has a career .239 and davidson a .229. Would it not be better to roll with younger talent? Something is wrong here.

    • Doug Gray

      The manager can’t play Aquino if he’s not on the team.

    • MK

      They are in win mode now so she doesn’t matter.

  10. mark

    The Galvis thing is I mean if you look at his numbers and you see the potential of Garcia here getting ab’s this year setting up for him to take over next year at SS full time I mean is he really going to put up worse numbers than Galvis is now? Reds have a tough decision at catcher they have 2 now in front of Tyler that they really seem to like as receivers first and offense 2nd where we probably know that Tyler will be better than both but they seem to be really good dudes at the C position now. I guess Casali will be the odd man out eventually I mean don’t you need to clear the path to get Tyler ready for next season? I think a few more weeks here will tell the tale if a few trades might happen trading major league assets for prospects maybe in the pitching area and open the door for Garcia and T. Stephenson. Aquino or Payton should be on this team, Jankowski needs to go. He should go get in Bronson Arroyo’s band since he kind of looks like him. 🙂

    • Roger Garrett

      I feel like others that Galvis is just here until Garcia is ready.He is exactly what I expected him to be and that’s an average fielder at best,with a below.300 OBP that swings hard and over 162 games will hit 15 to 18 homers.I am also of the opinion that Garcia and Tyler need to be in the big leagues next year but the Reds don’t work that way.They haven’t shown since Jay Bruce that they are willing to deviate from a 3 or 4 year plan they always have for their prospects and that’s why you won’t see a player until he reaches 24 or 25 years old.I don’t know much about either of these guys except they can field their position and since one is a short stop and the other is a catcher,primarily defensive positions,then why not give them a shot.Galvis and Tucker aren’t offensives player by any stretch of the imagination and never have been so how much do you lose

  11. Charlie Waffles

    It was very interesting reading Bauer’s comments about monitoring his own health. He said he checked his blood 3 times on the Saturday night. Then he said his blood levels were twice what they were normally were when he pitched Sunday. I can guess he isn’t checking insulin or blood sugar levels. So what all is he checking? Oxygen levels? Red cell or white cell levels? Hemoglobin counts? Just what is he monitoring?
    I think it would a great article to tell that story. I find it fascinating just how nuanced this guy is on pitching.

    • Doug Gray

      Trevor goes into it a little bit more here in this video if you are interested. It shows the machine he uses to test his blood, so you can look that up and see what it measures.

  12. Indy Red Man

    As far as the young guys go….how is the rest of our player pool preparing? I’m sure it can’t compare to actual AAA games where JVM earned a shot with the Reds last year.
    Are guys like Garcia or Stephenson getting at-bats on a daily basis vs major league caliber arms? I think they’re going to have to roll with who they have for the most part.

  13. Tom Mitsoff

    This thought crossed my mind: Typically late in spring training pitchers go through the so-called “dead arm” period. Not an injury, but a common reaction to the rigors and process of getting ready for the season. Just wondering if there is any chance that Bauer, Gray and Castillo are in that period?