Trevor Bauer took his Astros’ trolling to a new level on Monday, signaling openly to a batter what was coming.
Trevor Bauer has been one of the more outspoken players regarding the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal from the very beginning. As the scandal has stayed in the news, Bauer helped fuel the buzzer-wearing theory and then called out commissioner Rob Manfred for his handling of the entire situation.
Bauer is also a deeply analytical mind, regularly tweaking and trying new things to get the best out of himself as a pitcher.
During Monday’s Cactus League game against the Dodgers, Bauer decided he would just cut out the sign-stealing middle man and tell Dodgers’ first baseman Matt Beaty what was coming.
The Reds’ broadcast team speculated on Bauer’s intentions when he repeated a gesture multiple times in a row. He flipped his glove up in the universal signal to his catcher, typically during warmups between innings, that a fastball is coming. Bauer was, of course, openly signaling to Beaty what pitch was coming.
During a mid-inning dugout interview, Reds’ player Derek Dietrich confirmed he knew what Bauer was doing.
“In fact, I do. Trevor and I are good friends. If you’ve followed baseball this offseason, there’s a little thing going on with sign stealing. So, Trevor’s not too fond of it, so he figured he’s gonna try something new this season. And he’s gonna start telling the batters what’s coming. And that way there’s no ifs, ands or buts about what’s going on. Just here it comes, try to hit it.”
Beaty wound up flying out to center field, in the only at-bat Bauer signaled his pitches during his outing on Monday. The Reds’ right-hander went three scoreless innings out of the bullpen, with two strikeouts and two hits allowed.
Bauer surely won’t carry his intentional pitch-tipping into meaningful games. But it’s clear he’ll take every opportunity to troll the Astros’ sign-stealing ways, and thus bring some level of interest to what will otherwise be mundane spring-training outings.