Trevor Bauer could pitch on short rest for Reds all season
Trevor Bauer has said in the past that he feels he performs better when he pitches with three days off between starts rather than the more traditional four, and the right-hander may have a chance to prove it this season.
Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson recently said that having Bauer pitch every fourth day is something the team is considering. It’s also something Bauer has been openly campaigning for.
“I’ve applied some friendly pressure to him, I guess is how you’d say it,” Bauer said this week, via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “But basically letting him know that I want to pitch as much as possible as often as possible. You don’t have to worry about wearing down over the course of a long season. We’ve got a two-month sprint and a month of playoffs.”
Bauer feels he hits his stride in the middle of the MLB season anyway, so he thinks the timing of the 60-game season will work in his favor. Reds manager David Bell said Bauer “looked as good as I’ve seen him” in a live batting practice session on Monday. Johnson told C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic last week that having Bauer pitch on short rest is “100 percent on the table.”
“I trust Trevor. I trust what kind of work he puts in, invests in himself and I think if he feels he can do it, I think he can,” Johnson said. “From what I see and the things that he and I have talked about, I think it’s a really cool weapon that we have that maybe a lot of other teams don’t have. So, if we can use that to our advantage, I think we will.”
Bauer is in the final year of his contract, and he feels pitching on short rest could allow him to maximize his value. He also has some interesting thoughts for how he intends to approach free agency, so this could all be part of his plan.
In order to justify pitching more often, Bauer will need to perform a lot better than he did when he came to Cincinnati in a trade with the Cleveland Indians last season. The 29-year-old had a 2-5 record with a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts for the Reds.