Trevor Bauer was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for September. The Cincinnati Reds ace went out and took care of business during the month (and the ones before it, too). Bauer made five starts during September for the Reds and posted a 1.29 ERA in 35.0 innings pitched while allowing just 22 hits, he walked just 6 batters, and he picked up 46 strikeouts. His WHIP over the five start span was 0.80, and he held hitters to a .175/.218/.302 line during the month.
In three of his five starts, Trevor Bauer picked up double digit strikeouts. The first one came on the road in Chicago when he fanned 10 Cubs in 7.2 shutout innings. He picked up 12 more strikeouts against the Pittsburgh Pirates the next time he took the mound in the first game of a double header. His season came to an end against Milwaukee last week when he struck out 12 more batters in an 8.0 inning, 1-run win on three days rest with what felt like a game with the season on the line.
Is the Cy Young Award next for Trevor Bauer?
The Cincinnati Reds have never had a Cy Young Award winner. Trevor Bauer has also never won a Cy Young Award. Is this the season where both things happen? It’s certainly possible, and it feels a bit more likely to happen than for it to not.
The Reds right-handed started led the National League in ERA at 1.73. He also led the league with an ERA+ of 276, which is his ERA adjusted for the league and ballparks that he pitched in during the season. His WHIP of 0.79 also led the National League. Batting hit just .159 against him on the season, which was also the best in the league. When push came to shove, Bauer was able to lock things down (and got a little help from his bullpen at times, too) – leading the league in left-on-base rate at 90.9%.
In the stats that he didn’t lead the league in, he was among the league leaders. He finished second in the league in strikeouts – pitching in one less game than Jacob deGrom and finishing with four fewer strikeouts (but also having 5.0 more innings than deGrom). Bauer finished 7th in the league in walk rate. His strikeout-minus-walk percentage was second best in the league.
We won’t find out the results of the Cy Young Award voting until after the playoffs – though the votes must be in before the playoffs begin. But as we noted the other day here at Redleg Nation – it feels like the award is Trevor Bauer’s to lose.
He gets my vote … if you extrapolate the numbers to a full season, they kind of blow your mind. And he just kept getting better.
Don’t know if I ever saw a more dominating Cincinnati Red pitcher, and I remember Gullet and Gary Nolan when they were rookies. Maybe Mario Soto? I’d have to look up his stats. For Bauer, we are talking @ 2.5 months instead of 6 so it’s not a completely fair comparison.
But what a leader he was (and is), in addition to his pitching capability.
I just hope the Reds somehow manage to re-sign him.
I think the 2-month thing certainly needs to be qualified because it’s an unfair advantage on a few fronts. First – it’s basically a half of a season. Is Bauer’s 2020 really any better than Sonny Gray’s 2nd half last year? Maybe, but maybe not.Gray had three more starts, so he had more innings to work with – but it also came after he already had made 17 first half starts. Bauer didn’t have to “pace” himself nearly as much. He knew he could go out and give it a little more than maybe he otherwise would have because he’s shooting for 3 months of pitching instead of 7.
Cueto’s first half of 2014 saw him throw 143.2 innings with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. How about Jose Rijo’s 2nd half of 1988? He got a chance to start, made 12 of them, posted a 2.00 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 67.2 innings. The league K rate in 1988 was 15.1% – for Rijo in that stretch it was 27.2% – nearly double.
All of that said, Bauer was incredible this year, right? He flat out dominated nearly every game he took the mound in.
2020 is different. You/we are trying to compare Bauer to every other Reds pitcher. You can’t do that. Mario Soto did it for years on bad teams.
Also, while we are on that. Thom Brennaman has resigned. Says he does not remember ever using that word before—I say BULL CRAP. He used that word all the time. It just rolled off his tongue. Every camera man/every sound guy should be held accountable. Chris Welsh should find a new job for just being a WIMP. Did not stick up for Thom, nor did he deny it. He is worthless.
Hate all you will redlegnation. Just the truth.
The only thing we should be comparing this season is comparing other starters this year and this year only. He was just flat out great and yes there were some other really good pitchers out there but I just felt like he gave everything he had every time out there and put his heart and limbs with every pitch he made.
He deserves Cy Young for 2020 when you compare to other pitchers in the NL.
I think the only one who could challenge him is Darvish. But, Bauer has him in most every category. The only one Darvish does beat Bauer is in wins. And, some consider that’s the name of the game, “Just win, baby.”
Isn’t it funny, I have a few Indian’s fans in Columbus who were thrilled when Bauer was traded to the Reds. He was such a jerk they said they could not stand him and their team was better with addition by subtraction. Guess I’m getting the last laugh on that ones do it is funny how perceptions change.
I’m remembering when the trade happened, how many people on here were kinda like umm I would not have made that move….. Not me I loved it. I didn’t think he would be this good this year but I knew he would be a good starter It just seemed like Cleveland had turned on him after his down years. Trevor seems to thrive on positive energy.
Good news. Pitcher of the month is a step in the right direction. I saw last night where Dick Williams said that the front office and the Castellini family (mentioned by name) are going to do everything possible to re-sign Bauer. That was good to hear. II just hope it wasn’t more lip service for the fans.
I’ll be surprised if he’s re-signed, but I don’t think its out of the question.
I’m in the same boat as you.. Here is to hoping it happens
It’s entirely possible that this was not the best 60 game stretch for a Reds starter in recent memory, as Doug points out. And Bauer’s numbers do need to be considered in the context of this sprint of a season rather than the 162 game grind. But compared to other pitchers in the NL this year – the closest thing you’ll get to apples and other apples – Bauer had the best year. The best ERA, the best WHIP, the lowest opponent’s batting average, and the best ERA+. On top of that he was very clutch for a team that made the playoffs, but probably wouldn’t have without him. It’s hard to see how you make a serious case for DeGrom, Darvish, Fried or anyone other than Trevor Bauer. He’s the NL Cy Young winner for 2020.
I am a huge Bauer fan obviously. He will win the NL Cy this year. Should/will the Reds sign him for 2021 or beyond?? No and No. Earlier this year you probably could sign him for 1 year at 25 mil. Not now, he will “for go” his thoughts of one year deals. He will sign a multi-year. Probably around 4 years and 120 mil
Reds should back off as they have. Even though I love the guy. You can’t win with contracts like that. Ask LAA. See Trout (Mike).
I honestly have no educated opinion on whether the Reds should sign Bauer or not over the off season. I know this… he is bringing Cincinnati its first Cy Young award. The playoffs, and months distancing from the emotional element of baseball business will eventually put into perspective whether bringing him back is wise or not. Its hard to imagine however that the Reds would fork over Bauer money after comparing what that same money might return if spent differently. Now…if Bauer insisted on one year deals… and the Reds went deep into the playoffs…and it looks like they could contend again next year… maybe they should.
I performed several calculations using most relevant stats and three different approaches, resulting all Bauer in first place and Darvish in second. If he isn’t awarded with Cy Young, it may be given to a different reason other than performance. Regarding resigning him, he’ll be 30 next season and it may be expected, barring injuries, at least 3 or 4 more top performance seasons. However, given next year’s already committed payroll, plus salary arbitration increases, I find very unlikely FO will be able to do so.
I give Bauer a lot of credit for excelling at the season as it was designed due to COVID. He simply dominated.
The stats back that up. But, he also called out Votto and the team for (nickname for poo) defense. He pitched at the end of the season on short rest to be available if needed in the last game (he wasn’t needed). He’s also influenced Sonny Gray’s and others approach to his training and use of analytics and technology.
I know wining the Cy Young this year a bit different because of the 60 games. But, every team other than St Louis had 60 games to play with and do their best. It’s an even playing field in a tough year to focus. And Bauer was the best in the NL at making lemonade out of lemons. I hope he wins.