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Dodgers: Trevor Bauer Has Been Worth Every Penny for Los Angeles

The 2020 NL Cy Young winner has picked up right where he left off in 2021.



Polarizing starter Trevor Bauer has continued to perform at an elite level following his 2020 NL Cy Young season. The Dodgers paid top dollar for the 30-year-old this winter ($102M/3), and they’re receiving top shelf performance.

For the season, Bauer is fourth in both WHIP (0.77) and strikeout rate (36.2%) amongst starters through Saturday. He also ranks third in BAA (.140) and eighth in ERA (1.98).

Bauer Going Deep

Equally as important, Bauer has provided plenty of length in each of his starts, sans an early May debacle against the Cubs. That forgetful start is his lone start of the season where he failed to record at least five innings in a ballgame.

He’s logged eight quality starts, second in the majors through Saturday. Bauer is also third in innings pitched (62.3), trailing other certified studs Shane Bieber (65.0) and Gerrit Cole (64.2).

Following Thursday’s bullpen game against Arizona, Bauer threw 126 pitches the next day against the Giants before exiting in the seventh inning. Another quality start from Bauer was exactly what the Dodgers needed and he delivered.

In addition to the great outing, he did what many expected by stoking the flames between the two blood rivals.

High-quality pitching paired with high-quality theater is what Bauer does. Fans shouldn’t mind the antics as long as he continues to be an elite starter.

Final Thoughts

One can only imagine what the rotation would look like without Bauer. Considering the loss of Dustin May for the year and the prolonged absence of Gonsolin, the Dodgers would be two starters short in the rotation. Two bullpen games a week doesn’t bode well for any team.

Through thick and thin this year, the rotation has continued to be a bright spot for the Dodgers. Bauer, along with Kershaw, Urias, and Buehler, is a big reason why.

Some people may not like the antics, but you can’t argue about the performance.

NEXT: Doc Credits Clubhouse Atmosphere For Their Recent Success

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. If a “win” is still worth around $8 million to a team, then he is almost half way, 2.2, to the 5 he needs to make his contract “pay” for itself. $40M is a lot of cheese, but so far Bauer is proving to be another smart – if not frugal – move by the FO. The only Dodger with a higher WAR this year is Muncy.

    • Friedman is a GENIUS! No one saw it coming, and so far in almost 2 months, Bauer is exactly what the Dodgers needed. Andrew’s FO team is extraordinary in their countless moves week in and week out. It’s like they are playing 3-D chess while the other teams are regular chess or checkers! This team (if it can survive 162 game season intact) is going to repeat! Sweeping the Giants without 3 of their top players (Betts, Seager, Belli) is incredible. and with a team so deep, players take turns carrying the team on offense and now its Max and Gavin’s turn. No Betts, No Seager, no Belli and lately little if any Turner. But Beatty and Taylor continue to slug under the radar! Just wait until the team gets Zach back!

  2. Bauer isn’t polarizing, unless you call winning polarizing. The teams he shuts down probably don’t like seeing him much though.

    • I agree. I get so tired of reading Bauer is this and the fans don’t like it. Just click bait and lazy writing. Antics – semantics – play ball! Tell us about his domination, his stats, his repeatable delivery, his focus on each batter, we are so spoiled Dodger fans!

  3. When LA signed Bauer for a LOT of money, I questioned the sanity of the front office. As noted, Bauer is a polarizing figure and had the potential to be a toxic influence in the clubhouse. As the season progresses, I realize that his swagger is supported by outstanding performance. His response to SF fans after his 126-pitch performance was brilliant. The team, as a whole, has mimicked that swagger and almost everyone has stepped up their game. Adding Pujols has also been a brilliant move. He has come up with some productive at-bats, he has been effective at first base and he has been a very positive influence in the clubhouse. He is a champion. At a time when LA really needed help, Bauer and Pujols have been the difference-makers.

  4. every player has the potential to be a toxic influence in the clubhouse. He’s great, his teammates love him, as does doc and the coaching staff. Hope he leads the Dodgers to a WS repeat, and win the Cy Young – again!

    • If Bauer won the Cy Young w/ the Reds who gave him no run support then it should be a slam dunk w/ the Dodgers. But we might have a split vote w/ Urias or Buehler or even Kersh, who knows. But what a staff!

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