Trevor Bauer and seven-days rest
MLB clubs could possibly gain an edge by letting their ace pitch once a week
- UCLA Athletics Some MLB teams are worried about Trevor Bauer's workload, but maybe they should just embrace it.
Trevor Bauer's 3-1 win over Fresno State on Saturday looked no different than any of his other starts this year. The UCLA right-hander fanned 14 batters, walked two, yielded just six hits, hiked his season record to 13-2, dropped his ERA to 1.25 and tallied his ninth straight complete game. The skinny 20-year-old flashed another number, though, that was right in line with his season average, one that has MLB draft hounds wincing even as Bauer looks ready to be a top-10 pick: 133 pitches.
The rise in pitch count awareness across all levels of baseball makes people panic when they see a college pitcher racking up 130-plus pitches per start; doubly so when the guy doing it skews much closer to Tim Lincecum than Roger Clemens at 6-foot-1, and only 175 pounds. But Bauer's situation is different. He pitches just once a week, taking the mound every Saturday for the Bruins. Meanwhile, the benefits to his team are huge: Every Saturday, UCLA knows it has one of the nation's best pitchers ready to go nine innings and give the bullpen a day off.
All of which makes us wonder: Why doesn't a major league team try that? Mostly because it's hard, and looks risky.
"The team trainer and pitching coach have to know the pitcher's quality of strength, quality of conditioning, what kind of a workload he can handle," said Glenn Fleisig, research director for the American Sports Medicine Institute and an expert in pitching biomechanics. "You have to choose the right guy, then monitor him very closely."
To read more about Trevor Bauer's pro prospects and how a seven-day rotation could work in MLB, become an ESPN Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Braves' Medlen leaves with strained forearm
- Dodgers' Kershaw, Ryu to start in Australia
- Cardinals sign star Cuban shortstop Diaz
- Reds hopeful Latos can return in first week
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider MLB Content
- MLB Home
- AL East
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Minnesota Twins
- AL West
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Fantasy: Sign up!
- Spring blog