Cockiness, particularly for a young pitcher, can be a good thing. The ability to bounce back after a demoralizing performance and focus on the next start is essential for a rookie hurler. However, cockiness, mixed with indifference and sprinkled with stubbornness can result in a quick return to AAA. If not harnessed properly, it could put a screeching halt to a promising career. At the moment, this appears to be the case with Trevor Bauer.
According to a story on Azcentral.com, it seems Bauer does not want to change his pitching style in order to retire Major League hitters. “My approach is really hitter independent; it doesn’t matter who is at the plate. I’m going to throw to my strengths”, Bauer stated. It is one thing to have a great belief in your stuff. That certainly is admirable. However, Bauer will also need to realize that you have to be able to exploit even the average hitter’s’ weaknesses in order to succeed at the Big League level. Does anyone think that Randy Johnson is going to the Hall of Fame because he just blew people away without a plan? Bauer will find out quickly he will need to rely on his catcher, no matter who it is, to help guide him through the early part of his career.
Speaking of catchers, Miguel Montero seems to be a little teed off at the attitude of the recent call-up. After Thursday’s game, he was told Bauer would want a meeting with him to sort out any differences. “I don’t know anything about it,” he said. “He knows where my locker is if he wants to come talk to me. … I’m not in the mood right now to talk about Bauer.” Yikes. Maybe it was frustration with both Bauer and the fact his team just dropped their sixth game in a row. It is clear pitcher and catcher definitely need a meeting of the minds.
In all likelihood, Bauer’s start on Sunday will determine if he is with the club after the All Star break. Joe Saunders will be scheduled to come off the Disabled List and Josh Collmenter had a strong outing Friday night. Manager Kirk Gibson has no problem sending Bauer down if he implodes again. Maybe then he will take a bite out of some humble pie.
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