Diamondbacks' Bauer Makes Transition To Pro Game
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—Trevor Bauer made quite an impression in his first Diamondbacks spring training, and only partly because of his unique pregame routine that includes a lengthy stretching program and long toss from foul pole to foul pole. His stuff played, too.
"Every time he has pitched, he's been electric in his own way, in his performance, in what he has learned," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's unique. He's very unique. We're trying to get to know each other. We know his routine's different than everybody else's. We're finding out his mindset is very unique, also."
Bauer, the third overall pick in the 2011 draft, started one of Arizona's two split-squad spring training openers, against the Rockies, and was his usual self. Scouts clocked his fastball at 93-95 mph and his curve at 74-76 as he retired all six batters he faced, including Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer.
Bauer, 21, was 1-0, 3.60 in his four spring appearances, striking out nine and walking one in 10 innings. While the righthander was expected to open the season at Double-A Mobile, where he finished 2011, Bauer's spring performance gave credence to the consensus at draft time that he was the pitcher closest to the major leagues.
The Diamondbacks drafted Bauer understanding his individuality, but this spring they asked him to make one concession, that he not wear his earbuds while warming up on the field as he did at UCLA. Bauer, who bought a house in Houston over the winter to be near his favorite workout facility, the Texas Baseball Ranch, made some pre-spring tweaks of his own, adjusting his delivery ever so slightly over the winter.
"I think I've thrown the ball better than I was hoping to," the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Bauer said. "I'm really pleased with the offseason changes I made in my mechanics. I'm throwing a lot more strikes, and quality strikes at that."
The mechanical change, he said, involved, "trying to incorporate the bigger muscle groups in my body to control my delivery, with the idea that the more I use the bigger muscle groups, the more repeatable it will be. I'll be able to throw more strikes for longer, which seems to be proven out."
• Outfielders Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock were having strong spring trainings after teaming at Mobile last season. Pollock hit a walkoff home run to beat the Giants and was hitting .321/.424/.464 after 28 at-bats. Eaton had two triples and five RBIs and was hitting .222/.349/.361 in 36 at-bats.
• Lefthander Zach Kroenke, a major league Rule 5 draft pick in 2009, was removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A Reno.