Trevor Bauer needs to be left alone

Trevor Bauer has been traded to the Cleveland Indians as part of a three-team deal. Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to have presented at Ron Wolforth’s Ultimate Coaches’ Bootcamp in Montgomery, Tex., with Bauer, who spoke at length on using the lower half in the pitching delivery (with Eric Binder).

Bauer on the left, me third from the left

It’s no secret that the Arizona Diamondbacks had issues with Bauer’s workout routine, which involves a 60-plus minute warmup using implements like the Oates Shoulder Tube:

As well as “extreme” long toss prior to games:

Jerry DiPoto sought Bauer while he was the director of scouting in Arizona. However, after Kevin Towers replaced GM Josh Byrnes, DiPoto eventually moved on to Anaheim as the GM. It’s been said that DiPoto was one of Bauer’s last allies, needing to step in to prevent the player development department from further infringing on his workout routines, which include daily throwing in-season.

Let’s look at his mechanics—he was kind enough to upload tons of high-speed footage on YouTube:

Overhead shot:

His deceleration pattern is extremely efficient: He rotates his throwing shoulder forward into the target significantly farther than most pitchers. This pattern allows force to be applied to the baseball in increasingly straighter lines, which is naturally more efficient and less injurious on the elbow and shoulder. Force is best applied parallel to the direction of acceleration instead of perpendicular to the lever arm. For a stark contrast, look at Stephen Strasburg‘s release point, which is much earlier in the delivery:

Bauer also trains and exhibits solid use of pronation through and after release of the baseball, which theoretically reduces stress on the elbow by engaging the muscles of the medial forearm (pronator-flexor mass). This and the deceleration pattern, are mainstays of the teachings at Ron Wolforth’s Texas Baseball Ranch.

Bauer’s training: Leave him alone

Bauer’s training includes plyometrics, medicine ball training, wrist weights, rubber tubing, and a host of other things (for more information, check out The Athletic Pitcher for a basic overview). However, one thing stands out: It includes tons of throwing, often with weighted baseballs. While major league clubs are afraid that more throwing equals more injuries, we’ve enacted tons of pitch count and innings restrictions with no evidence that they work.

Representatives from the Cleveland Indians (including their minor league pitching coordinator) were in attendance over the weekend to hear Bauer speak. So were many other coaches who strongly believe in constant throwing year-round. Ken Knutson, pitching coach at Arizona State, has implemented a similar training program at ASU. Total number of surgeries on his pitchers over the last eight years? Zero. Only 180 days of injury time in that span, with 100 coming from a single player who didn’t even play at ASU (he committed but went to pro ball).

There is room for concern when it comes to the Indians, however. One of Knutson’s pitchers when he was at the University of Washington was Nick Hagadone, the fireballing lefty in Cleveland’s bullpen. Hagadone credits his workout routine with getting him from the mid-80s his junior year to the mid-90s his senior year. Despite this, the indians reportedly curtailed much of his workout program after he was traded to them from the Red Sox in the Victor Martinez deal. Will they treat Bauer the same way?

To those in Cleveland’s player development group, I humbly suggest this: Let thse two pitchers do their thing for one full year without interfering. Simply let them do what got them to the big leagues in the first place and made them first-round draft picks. It makes no sense to change that.

Moneyball and Oakland have had a profound effect on professional baseball with regard to statistical evaluation of players and the quantification of runs scored and wins credited. It will be another low-budget team that initiates the revolution in player development, and there’s no reason it couldn’t be Cleveland.

The Indians fan in me sure hopes it will be.

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Comments

  1. Shane said...

    He’s really cocky for a guy who hasn’t accomplished anything, I’m not a fan of his attitude and it looks like the D-Backs weren’t either.
    The indians were smart to buy low on a guy with a lot of upside, but I can see his attitude rubbing any organization the wrong way.

  2. Kyle Boddy said...

    Apparently winning the college Golden Spikes award and throwing 97 MPH is “not having accomplished anything.”

  3. Kevin Scobee said...

    When you have an IQ of 170, the uneducated/unwilling-to-learn-new-things crowd that’s directed to coach you will often think you have a “bad attitude”.

  4. Kevin Poppe said...

    Great read, Kyle. It was awesome to hear about your analysis this weekend as well. Having worked with Bauer pretty extensively, this attitude stuff is way overblown. This is a great guy and he knows why he has been successful. He is actually a very humble person. He’s not a guy who is unwilling to listen but he is a guy who is somewhat unwilling to compromise on what he knows works. He used to be a guy against strength training. You can find articles on it. Thankfully, my boss Lee Fiocchi, communicated the benefits to him well enough that Bauer made an educated choice to change that part of his view, and its translating to a couple mph on the bump. He will listen, but if he disagrees, he won’t blindly follow.

  5. Kyle Boddy said...

    Kevin:

    Thank you for the comments about this weekend. It truly was an awesome experience.

    “He’s not a guy who is unwilling to listen but he is a guy who is somewhat unwilling to compromise on what he knows works. He used to be a guy against strength training. You can find articles on it.”

    Very true, and as you said, you can see videos online of Lee at DST working with Trevor on strength training.

  6. Rob MacKnight said...

    Sorry, but Bauer’s mechanics are exactly the WRONG way to throw if you hope to retain your youthful velocity and not gradually wear down your shoulder and elbow.

    Note how he drops his hands from an already-low set, and similar to way too many pitchers, including Tim Lincecum (how is HIS velocity working out these days?), his ball-hand drops actually behind his rear-end, then has to whip all the way back up and around on its way to home plate.

    This ubiquitous and nefarious “drop and whip” style is KILLING velocity and eventually shoulders and elbows all over baseball.

    The antidote? The “out and up”, which I both use myself and teach.

    You can be effective at 90 mph, but why not use mechanics that retain your heat, improve your control, and help ensure your ability to pitch with maximum skill for as long as you like?

  7. Kevin Poppe said...

    I do not know what out and up means, but I can assure you what Bauer does is not putting excess stress on his shoulder. His hand going back doesn’t put any more stress on his shoulder, because there is no rotational force while he is in this extension. Its about where his arm is when he is going into rotation. An that is in with an elbow degree inside 90. This puts LESS stress on his arm when he rotates because it is a shorter moment arm (distance on horizontal axis from the ball to his shoulder). This means less resistance or drag on the arm as he rotates. That means LESS torque in the shoulder not more.

  8. Rob MacKnight said...

    I respect your science, yet would you have been as optimistic about Lincecum, Orel Hershiser, C.C. Sabathia, and endless others who drop the ball-hand at or below their rear-ends and then whip forward?

    My contention is that empirical evidence shows the grossly deleterious effects on velocity and elbow/shoulder longevity by employing the drop and whip.

    Picture an evolved Nolan Ryan and Jack Morris with two different flavors of the out and up.  (Currently, White Sox flamethrower Nate Jones gets his arm out and up pretty well, though I would coach him to use a higher set to lessen the length of movement into the proper up position and improve his control, since that starting point floats around a bit on him now.)

    You cannot find a drop and whip pitcher who retains his velocity and arm health.  At best, they lose velocity and learn to pitch better with control and movement.

  9. Rob MacKnight said...

    Thanks, but the link failed.
    There is science, and there is empirical evidence.  How can we argue about quantifiable results?

    Is it logical to emulate the mechanics of a pitcher who excelled in the bigs for 27 years with minimal velocity loss?

  10. Kyle Boddy said...

    The link should work fine.

    “Is it logical to emulate the mechanics of a pitcher who excelled in the bigs for 27 years with minimal velocity loss?”

    Actually, no, that’s not logic. That’s an appeal to authority / small sample size logical fallacy. That’s the exact opposite of logic.

  11. Kevin Scobee said...

    Are you talking about this Nolan Ryan for your “out and up” – after he’s already started his rotation to the plate: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Rtsz39dpi9E/TZKEgtGDFPI/AAAAAAAAABk/WaHAhsrlfRI/s1600/nolan_ryan.jpg

    Or this Nolan Ryan when he approches scap load, which is a near universally trait for all high-velocity throwers: http://content.fathead.com/blog/NolanRyan.JPG

    And don’t use Lincecum’s struggles now to try and make your point when he’s seven years into a career of multiple postseasons and well-known terrible conditioning in the early years, while convenient dismissing how dominant and durable he was at peak.

  12. Rob MacKnight said...

    Gents, I have to get a kid to an appointment, but I can see that this will be a fun jousting of opinions on the art we love. 

    Kyle, thanks for your take on what we should term empirical evidence.  Bottom line, I call it compelling.

    Kevin, yes, I will directly blame Lincecum’s mechanics on his loss in velocity.  That is precisely my premise.  Pitch with smarter mechanics and you retain your velocity much longer.

    Gotta fly, boys…take your punches!

  13. obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

    Then how about giving the Giants props for allowing Tim Lincecum to do his thing?  His routine is even more different than Bauer.  Bauer, as you noted, spends 60+ minutes warming up, which is more in line with what baseball thinks is right.  Lincecum claims he is warmed up in up to 10 warm-up pitches. 

    Even there, the Giants do make him throw more when he is starting.  But when he was in relief in the playoffs, somewhere it was noted that he just threw what he wanted – a couple of handful of pitches – and told them he was ready.  I think his results speak to his readiness.

    So maybe, to his nickname, he is a “freak” but the Giants mostly let him do his thing.

  14. Rob MacKnight said...

    Trip, the massive evidence shows the damage of the drop and whip.  The out and up works because it greatly decreases the ‘backstroke’ of the arm to get properly slotted before going forward.  The arm is immediately in the proper position to make the pitch. Use your legs and back properly and you should enjoy maximum velocity and superb control.

    Trip, I think what most are missing with the drop and whip is the damage done by having to go from (often) way down (like behind the ass), to then whip all the way back toward the plate. 

    Usually in an effort to hide the ball, the pitcher makes an often violent back stroke (see Frankie Rodriguez, AKA F-Rod) to an inconsistent spot, then attempts to quickly reverse direction and come to the plate.  Control suffers, and gradual damage erodes velocity and very often leads to injury.

    Frankie is one of zillions of examples of the damage of the drop and whip.  Heck, the guy tossed 68 innings in his best season and has averaged only about 72 in his ten full seasons, yet the severe heat he had in the 2002 World Series disappeared quickly and he persists on guile and deception.

    Trip, I came back to baseball at age 40 in ‘96 and have been pitching year round since then, very often against guys less than half my age. I’m no natural Joe Superstar, am 6’2” and 160 lbs, and use my out and up mechanics to feature good velocity, control, and ball movement.  It’s no biggie for me to pitch nine innings every weekend and over 200 innings a year with no pitch count.

    Pitching so much, I became more of a student of the game, read how Harvey Haddix used to preach the out and up (though I am not sure how much our methods match or not), and decided that it was an apt name for what I had evolved into. 

    Thus, Trip, it works for me great, and I hate to see young super arms destroyed by mechanics that are so easily corrected into healthy pitching. Do you think about half a billion dollars in injured arms on the DL is enough evidence of the destruction of the drop and whip?

  15. Kyle Boddy said...

    “Trip, the massive evidence shows the damage of the drop and whip.”

    Let’s see it. It’s all just anecdotes from you.

  16. Rob MacKnight said...

    Kyle, you are just choosing to ignore everything in front of you from the decades of being able to view mechanics and quantify resultant loss of velocity and injury.

    No, I do not have scientific answers, I just know what I see and feel. 

    You can keep using and pushing the drop and whip if you wish…just don’t be surprised by the disappearing heat and predictable injuries…chalk it up to more anecdotal evidence.

  17. Kyle Boddy said...

    “No, I do not have scientific answers, I just know what I see and feel.”

    You would have saved everyone a lot of time and effort if you just admitted that up front. That nothing you said has any backing in science, research, or statistics.

  18. Rob MacKnight said...

    Ha!  Kyle, that’s hilarious.  “Admit”? 

    Sorry, I did not realize that this site was for bona fide scientists ONLY.

    Your attempt to dismiss my input with a superior wave won’t work for most who have played the game.

    I have a solution to address the hundreds of millions of dollars on the DL in dead arms, plus the uncountable amateur injuries among kids never lucky enough to make it to the big leagues. 

    Is the status quo okay with you?

  19. Owen said...

    Rob,
    Although you say there is a mass of empirical evidence, you only mention (from what I can see) four guys:

    One is a two time CY Young winner who was a durable innings eater while pitching at an extremely high level for five years without missing a start. True, he has lost a good deal of velocity and was nowhere near as effective this past season, but he is also very undersized, especially for a pitcher with his workload in the past and is known to have been lax at best about conditioning for much of his life.

    Another is a reliever who in the course of a decade and almost 700 games has lost about a mile and a half or two miles per hour off of his fastball and this past season struck out a batter an inning with an average fastball sitting at 91.5mph. He has also appeared in over 50 games every year and has only made (I think) one trip to the DL in his career.

    A third is a borderline Hall of Famer who pitched effectively in the majors for almost two decades with only two seasons affected by injury. He was a 2 win pitcher his last full season at the age of 40 and was a 4 win pitcher as late as his age 37 season.

    And the last is a pitcher who is already a borderline HOF candidate after 12 seasons. He has made 28+ starts and pitched 180+ innings in each of those 12 seasons, including the last six with over 200 innings pitched, all while averaging almost a strikeout an inning and 5 WAR a season. He has been on the DL two or three times, missing one or two starts each time and his average fastball last season was exactly the same as in his age 22 season (second of his career, first I have numbers for).

    If these are best examples of the detriments of a drop and whip motion then I suggest we force every pitcher to use this same motion!

  20. Owen said...

    Also, you mention that the out and up gives you superb control, yet the best example you give of a pitcher using this technique happens to be one of the wildest, most walk prone pitchers in the games history.

  21. Rob MacKnight said...

    Owen, pretty much everyone is now using the drop and whip and we are seeing the result in loss of velocity and injuries.  It is an epidemic that has been written about a lot, yet no solution has been created.

    Did Orel Hershiser use his brains to convert into a successful finesse pitcher after blowing out his shoulder at his peak with the Dodgers?  Yes.

    Can F-Rod be mostly effective with his cagey stuff?  Yes.

    Can C.C. Sabathia convert from a power pitcher to one who relies mostly on a slider?  Sure. (Note his post-season elbow surgery.)

    Can Tim Lincecum succeed as a splitfingered hurler with a pedestrian fastball?  Maybe, though his days as a reliable starter may be over.

    Don Drysdale lasted 12 years before his shoulder hurt too much to throw anymore.  Sandy Koufax lasted ten before his arthritic elbow forced him to quit what he loved to do.

    Sure, we can find enviable Hall of Fame careers using the drop and whip.  Greg Maddux came up to the Cubs with a good fastball and evolved into a control artist with a Bugs Bunny change up. 

    My point, Owen, is that with smarter mechanics they don’t have to lose their heat so quickly.  They can have much healthier careers and pitch much longer.

    Or, pitchers can keep dropping and whipping and experience the very predictable decline in velocity and injuries.  The truth is that for those aforementioned who figure out how to still get guys out, Owen, there are scores of pitchers by the side of the road who lost the heat, got hammered, and were out of the game forever.

    Nolan Ryan was a drop and whip guy at 19 with the Mets.  He evolved into an out and up pitcher and went from wild man to control artist pitching with great heat for 27 years in the bigs.  Isn’t THAT what any pitcher should try to emulate?

  22. Owen said...

    There also seems to be a nice drop and whip in this guy’s delivery. He happens to be one of the hardest throwers of all time, had next to no injuries, was a no brainer HOFer and was reportedly still hitting the 70s and 80s in his 70s and 80s, pitching at fantasy camps and legends games into his 90s.

    http://youtu.be/DG5x8pB9_7o?t=1m28s

  23. Rob MacKnight said...

    Owen, Feller certainly had a great arm, but he ached:

    “On the downside of his career because of shoulder injuries, the 31-year-old Feller made about $65,000 in 1949, when he went 15-14 with a 3.75 ERA.”—Yahoo Sports, 1/18/12, by David Brown

    Go out and up and pitch without major injury at your best for as long as you want.

  24. Rob MacKnight said...

    Owen, you seem to think of Nolan Ryan as the wild kid with the Mets and Angels.  He cleaned up his mechanics and had very good control, especially for as hard as he threw.

    In his quest to use his legs to buttress his heat, he lucked into the out and up since his left knee kicked up toward his chin and placed his hand and mitt in the perfect location at the top of his right shoulder so that all he had to do was go straight back with his arm, then forward.  No wasted motion down and then back up.

    The only pitchers who should drop their arms are the ones who will keep them there as submariners or sidearmers.

  25. Owen said...

    Every pitcher no matter the mechanics loses velocity as they age, and after a certain age, at a very rapid rate. Even Nolan Ryan lost mile after mile off of his fastball year after year. Because it is the most common pitching technique, of course pitchers using it are going to lose velocity and get hurt, it’s inevitable. Losing a mile or two off of an already well above league average fastball over a decade of relief appearances or maintaining the same velocity for a decade while pitching 200 innings a year would happen no matter the type of delivery they employed.

    And while Ryan’s command did get much better, he was never a ‘control artist’ finishing in the top ten BB/9 zero times in his career and finishing with the second most walks in the league his final qualifying season (1992).

    Again, everyone has injuries, they just do. Feller happened to follow that up with a 4 win season and added 12 wins to his career WAR post-1949 so he was not exactly done in by a that nagging injury, which, as it happens, was caused by falling and hurting his back during a rainy game, nothing at all to do with his arm. He, like Ryan got lucky not to have any major arm injuries over long and successful careers. You seem to be suggesting that pitching ‘out and up’ makes it impossible to have an arm injury which is just absurd, just as it would be for me to claim anyone using a ‘drop and whip’(or any other) motion would be impervious to arm injury.

  26. Rob MacKnight said...

    Owen, if I had access to the MLB video library I would be happy to amass a nice list of out and up pitchers, but it is certainly a minority group amongst hurlers.

    Even 27 years into the big leagues, Ryan still threw in the low 90’s.  Do we age and lose physical ability?  Sure. 

    My contention is backed by the evidence: The drop and whip style accelerates loss of velocity and injury.  The out and up gives you a much better chance of avoiding major injury while maintaining maximum velocity.

    Ryan was overused like a rented mule by the Angels, tossing 241 pitches in one game, then losing the next four days later.  Thus, he had some over-use elbow ligament issues that he overcame, but never had a shoulder issue.  Shoulder health dictates velocity.

  27. Owen said...

    I’m sorry Rob, I just don’t think we’re going to see eye to eye on this one.

    I’m not saying an out and up delivery is bad, heck, I’m not even necessarily saying it isn’t better than the drop and whip, but while you keep talking about ‘all the evidence’ I have yet to see any. You talk about Nolan Ryan but that’s one genetic lottery winner who, as you admit, didn’t use the out and up exclusively/for his entire career. At the same time, you don’t give other examples of pitchers using that motion or any statistics that back up their lack of injuries and sustained velocity. Nor do you give any explanation or data to back up your assertion that a drop and whip accelerates loss of velocity and injury over what would be expected naturally of a human body/arm not designed to throw a baseball over and over at high speeds. And while you talk of Sabathia and Lincecum and the like, none of them have had any shoulder problems and in fact have been well healthier than the average MLB pitcher. They also, as a group, have maintained their velocity fairly well or better.

    Yes, pitchers with drop and whip motions lose their velocity and get injured, but so does every pitcher ever. Even Ryan’s career was ended by an arm injury. Sure, he pitched well into his 40’s at a high level, but his injury finally came. Every arm has a certain number of pitches before it breaks, he just happened to luck into one that lasted quite a while, just like Randy Johnson. Johnson pitched until the age of 45 (Ryan was 46), had few injuries (none major until the end of his career), and still averaged 90mph on his fastball in his final season, hitting the mid 90’s throughout the year. He got a later start in the majors than Ryan but age wise, their careers match up extremely well in terms of results, velocity, health and longevity. One used a drop and whip, one an out and up. Both were very lucky to avoid major and multiple injuries.

    Walter Johnson whipped the ball across his body in a way you would never teach someone to throw, but he too managed to throw extremely hard for over 20 years and almost 6000 career innings. Again, blessed with a wonderful arm.

    Satchel Paige had any number of windups, deliveries, arm angles, motions, etc and he pitched forever.

    Again, I really doubt we’re going to agree on this topic. I personally see no evidence to support your claims. If actual data backing it up exists/you point me towards it, I could be swayed, but as of now, I see nothing to make me a believer.

  28. Owen said...

    Finally, if I am understanding what you mean by ‘out and up’ Billy Wagner would be an example of an out and up pitcher. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtiOOY4shZ8

    As a closer, he is probably best compared to your Francisco Rodriguez example. Wagner had two major injuries to his arm over his career while Rodriguez’s only trip to the DL was for a torn ligament in his thumb. Over Rodriguez’s career (02-12) he has seen his average fastball dip just over a mile and a half from 93.5 to 91.8 mph, while Wagner, from 02-10 saw his fastball decrease by almost two miles per hour from 97.6 to 95.7. Add onto that that his peak speeds were in the late 90’s (for which I have no pitch speeds) and one can assume that the overall drop from peak velocity (usually at the beginning of a pitchers career) as great, if not greater for Wagner than for Rodriguez. You also seemed to indicate that Rodriguez should have been durable enough to pitch more innings/games, yet he averaged more games and innings per season than did Wagner.

    With very similar velocity declines and more injury problems for Wagner, it would seem as though the more compact delivery did not help much, if at all.

  29. Rob MacKnight said...

    Hi Owen, thanks for all your input; I will attempt to be succinct.

    My contention is that Nolan Ryan was NOT some sort of genetic freak, but he lasted 27 years in the bigs as a power pitcher precisely because he unwittingly evolved into the prototypical out and up pitcher.

    As for Billy Wagner, he short-armed the ball big-time, and that is very against what I teach in person and via Healthy Pitching dot com, but he obviously had a very nice career and retained much of his velocity because he did not drop and whip.

    Jack Morris had a helluva splitter and knew that he had to get on top of each pitch to effect optimal results.  He also knew that he would be tipping his fastball if he dropped down, so his heater came over the top, too.  He had a very nice 18 year career, as well.

    Owen, the out and up is little used, and my quest is to make it the norm versus the rarity.  Having pitched all ways, I can tell you that the out and up helps with both velocity and control.

    As for Walter Johnson, he was a sidearmer, and you can sidearm till the cows come home, relatively.  Heck, Joe Iron Man McGinnity had a Hall of Fame career and loved it so much he tossed another 20+ years in the minors, and he, too, was a sidearmer.  A bowler will be able to bowl longer than an overhand hurler will be able to pitch.

    The drop and whip is simply tougher on your arm than the out and up.  Yes, I am the unknown voice in the wind screaming for revolution in pitching mechanics, Owen.  To just chalk up the epidemic of injuries to inevitability is something I don’t accept.  There IS a better way, and a few others and I have and are doing it now.

  30. Frank said...

    The better way is happening now, that is correct. It follows the premier discoveries and applications using a scientific method (of sorts), not having been derived from the best conjured assumption of a man that appropriates ‘evidence’.

  31. Rob MacKnight said...

    Frank, if the ‘better way’ is in vogue now, then baseball and pitchers are in a heap of trouble. 

    Thanks, but I will bet on what I know from playing most of my life and observing the game.

    Many would kill to have Lincecum’s career, while I look at it and ask, ‘what if he had used the out and up early on and was still throwing in the mid nineties?’

  32. Brett said...

    It appears to me there are two different, but related, issues here that need to be separated and then brought together.  Guys like Trevor Bauer and Lincecum have figured out a way, through their own unique combinations of talent, training, and mental acuity, to squeeze the most velocity out of their relatively small frames.  They are able to seamlessly transfer linear momentum to angular momentum, and also maximize that whip-like catapult action that is present to a degree in all pitching deliveries but is magnified when applied through an overhand delivery.  That’s great if all we want to talk about is radar gun readings and how far they can long toss but the ultimate point is to express this ability through the game of baseball, in this case Major League baseball.

    Regardless of what his future holds, Tim Lincecum owns two Cy Young Awards and two World Series rings.  He found a way to channel his gifts into actual production at the highest level of baseball.  If he retired tomorrow he wouldn’t have to apologize to anyone, regardless of how many internet pundits want to argue about how much more durable he might have been if he did more of this and less of that.  Trevor Bauer may have accomplished some things at lower levels of baseball but he has zero credibility at the highest level of a game that has existed for over 150 years.  There is a right way and a wrong way to start the journey and it is totally fair to say that Trevor has done some things poorly rather than chalking the whole thing up to misunderstood genius syndrome.

    It is plainly clear that Trevor is an extremely intelligent and talented young man who has made strides towards improving training standards and giving us a more thorough understanding of exactly what bio-mechanical and physical principles can be used to throw a baseball at high velocity.  The problem is that he has reached a point in his career where he has to figure out how to translate those things into success on the Major League stage.  Shaking off the catcher before your very first big league pitch is arrogance at a staggering level.  It’s very impressive what Trevor has been able to get out of his mind and body.  Unfortunately there are complicated human elements that have to be navigated, on-field challenges to be met, and a little bit of luck involved, before he can start dictating terms.  I’m not questioning the desire and intention in his heart.  What I am saying is that he appears to be hung up on proving he is right rather than learning what it takes to be successful as a professional pitcher and, like it or not, that comes off as arrogant.  Personally I am rooting for him to find his way in Cleveland and ultimately have the kind of career he deserves but it starts with embracing his role as a professional pitcher not as the poster child for the benefits of long tossing and training aids.

  33. Rob MacKnight said...

    Nicely said, Brett. 
    I am unfamiliar with details of Bauer’s alleged ill-advised behavior or attitudes, but I hope he matures nicely in Cleveland and helps the Tribe.

    As for his mechanics, I am decidedly not a fan, but as you point out, who would not trade his left nipple for Lincecum’s success and money?

    My quest is just to help young men retain that heat that they come up with for as long as possible with smarter mechanics. 

    There is a joke of a youtube entry by somaxperformance extolling Lincecum’s “95-97 mph” fastball and claiming that his delivery’s “efficiency” is the reason for the impressive cheese.  I wonder what they say now about his 90.4 mph fastball…no more “efficiency”?

  34. Willis Randall said...

    Kevin Poppe-
            Since you claim to extensively work with Bauer on a daily basis, I have to question your credentials. I’m not sure you have enough background in physics to come to a conclusion about the moment arm? What does that even mean? I’m just curious about your major or college, I want to know if you actually are skilled in the physics/biomechanics world.

      Thanks,
          Willis

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