Spring training number one as an LA Dodger has come and gone for offseason acquisition Trevor Bauer, and if you ask him, everything went according to plan. He built up his pitch count and stayed healthy.
That’s truly the meaning of spring training, particularly for veteran pitchers.
After another somewhat uneven outing on Saturday, Bauer finished the month of March with a 4.24 ERA over 6 outings. Fine but not great numbers. After his final tune-up, the right-hander was asked about what kind of stock he puts into those spring numbers. He laughed as he opened his response.
None. I’ve had the lowest ERA and not made the team and I’ve had the highest ERA and made the team. It has literally no bearing. What matters in spring training is how you feel physically, if you’re healthy. Did you get your pitch count up? Did you get enough up-downs to where your body’s used to getting up and down multiple times? Then you execute pitches and all that. … It’s not a real game. It’s not a real competitive environment. … Yeah, there’s not a lot of stock in spring ERAs.
Bauer also explained that he and the catchers really do little to no game planning for each start, living more on pitch sequencing over a scouting report.
His next start, however, will come with a lot more homework. Bauer will be starting game 2 of the 2021 regular season on the road against the Rockies in Colorado.
I’m pumped up for it — especially pumped up to get back in front of the LA fans for my first home start. It’s been a while since I played meaningful baseball and I’m just excited to get back out there because I love it. I love competing. I love coming together with a group of guys and going and trying to win a ballgame and trying to win a division, win a World Series. That all starts here very soon and I’m ready for it.
If the starting rotation stays in its current, expected order, Bauer could also potentially pitch the home opener for LA, but that might more likely slot to be a Walker Buehler start, which would be a nice showing of gratitude for the young Dodger ace.
The Dodgers return to California for the annual spring training freeway series against the Angels starting tonight and running through Tuesday.