January 19, 2021

A Bauer Surge Is Zapping Hitters (FanGraphs)

The Cincinnati Reds haven’t yet had the breakout season than many — myself included — predicted, but one player who need not shoulder any of the blame for their 8-9 start is Trevor Bauer. His first three outings hint at a repeat of his 2018 All-Star season, and he seems to be on more solid ground than he was back then.

But let’s go back. In one of the more surprising moves of the 2019 trade deadline, the fourth-place Reds (49-56) decided to flip the usual script for teams in their position. The result was a three-way trade with the Padres and Indians that brought Bauer to Cincinnati for Taylor Trammell, Yasiel Puig, and Scott Moss.

The initial returns were…not great. In 10 starts with Cincinnati in 2019, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA with 12 homers allowed in 56.1 innings. His 4.85 FIP told a more positive tale, but even that mark was well below the team’s expectations. But the Bauer trade was never about 2019. The NL Central didn’t appear to have any juggernauts looming and the potential benefits of having Trammell on the roster were years away; a pitcher like Bauer, meanwhile, could have a meaningful effect on a pennant race now. Bringing in the…

Read “A Bauer Surge Is Zapping Hitters” at FanGraphs