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Dodgers: Trevor Bauer on Establishing Trust and Relationships With His Catchers

Spring Training is for more than working on pitches.

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 01: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during a spring training game against the Colorado Rockies at Camelback Ranch on March 1, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)


The Dodgers will have an interesting situation with their catchers heading into the 2021 season. The lack of the universal DH at the moment sort of complicated some of their plans. But the addition of Trevor Bauer could end up further complicating the situation behind the dish. 

The Dodgers are likely to mostly use Will Smith behind the plate in 2021. The exception to that would be with Clayton Kershaw, who prefers to have teh defensive-first  Austin Barnes catching his games. But if Barnes ends up being the preferred catcher of Walker Buehler as well, it could get weird. 

Trevor Bauer talked about catchers after his first Spring Training game of the year. The Dodgers biggest free-agent signing discussed the importance of relationships and building trust in the first couple of weeks of working with guys behind the plate. 

Yeah for sure, it’s mainly like the pace. If you can get on the same page and you’re thinking along with each other, the pace of the game goes a lot quicker. And that swings things in favor of the pitcher…That’s just one part of it. Framing pitches is big, understanding how quick do I need to be to the plate to give you guys a chance to throw runners out, how much do I need to hold them, just little things like that…they gotta feel free to talk to me and understand that I’m going to be open to it.

The fact that Bauer mentions framing pitches as a big part of the game would make Barnes the obvious choice. But Bauer also mentioned that there are so many levels to building trust with a catcher that one metric probably isn’t enough for him to have a designated Dodgers catcher. 

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Still, the idea of Barnes becoming his guy behind the plate could make things interesting. The Dodgers obviously would love to have Will Smith’s bat in the lineup, but that becomes difficult if there is not a DH. 

It’s a good problem to have though, and one that they will deal with if they get to that point. For now, Bauer and the other pitchers will continue to work with their catchers on improving their collective game. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Remember when AJ Ellis, who had a lifetime batting average of 238, and had 44 home runs in 11 years, was the personal catcher for Kershaw? That lack of offense hurt the Dodgers. All Dodger pitchers need to know that Smith is young, and needs time to develop defensively. His offensive ability is already proven. Smith could be a great catcher. But if Dodger pitchers refuse to give him a chance, and DR goes along with it, Smith will get hurt, and so will the entire team. Dodger pitchers need to work with Smith, not against him and the team.

  2. Dodger106W you are 100% correct! Smith will be a greàt catcher for the future of you give him the reps. I understand he comes in early studies video with Austin and the pitcher?. With coaching and reps he has plus upside. Other experts has graded him high on the list.

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