What Happened to Trevor Bauer’s 95-Plus Velocity?

Coach Mills on July 9, 2012 | One comment so far - add yours!

I didn’t realize that the Diamondbacks game was on at 1 pm yesterday until it was 2:40.  I tuned in at the end of the 5th where the Diamondbacks were leading 2-0.  So Trevor Bauer was having a very good game.

I caught the 6th inning where he was doing a good job changing speeds.  He also threw a very good curveball well down in the zone for a strikeout.

So, all in all, he had a plus game and probably saved himself from a demotion to AAA.

Prescription for Pitching Success

The trick is to change speeds, move the ball around, change eye level, pitch inside, and command your fastball.

However, Bauer’s velocity was mostly low 90s, hitting 94 just a few times.

In three games we have not seen 95 when his fastball was supposed to be 95 plus or even upper 90s.

So What Could be the Problem with His Velocity?

Two things.  The grind of pitching every 5th day while using an “over-the-top” pregame warm-up routine which, over time, will produce fatigue in and of itself.

His warm-up routine makes absolutely no sense, regardless of whether or not he has used it successfully in the past.  As I said before this is not a “warm-up” but an actual training routine which used prior to a game doesn’t provide enough recovery time.

During the baseball season the large majority of energy consumed by a pitcher should be from doing actual pitching, not from training.  We know from the research that to maintain strength from an off-season conditioning routine an athlete on needs one session per week for maintenance.

I do not know what Bauer does in between starts but if he spends 1 to 1 1/2 hours working out prior to a game then I am sure his in between game routine is probably mind-bending.

In high school he probably pitched once a week.  The same in college.  But in MLB there are lots of other factors that must be considered, such as travel, which will produce fatigue.

Recovery is one of the most important aspects for maintaining good performance in any sport.

So I believe he will have to eventually alter his pre-game and between game routine.  Of course, the Diamondbacks should be the ones to step in, if they had the knowledge of training.  If they don’t then his odd and overtaxing routine should spark a question about whether this makes sense or not. They can find an answer by consulting a expert who understands sport science in training and conditioning.

The second reason for his drop in velocity is something I noticed after watching his video – the positioning of his front foot at touchdown and landing.

You should all be aware of this when videotaping since we see this on a regular basis during lessons and video analysis. This not only affects velocity but ball control as well.

Do you guys test your mechanical knowledge by watching MLB pitchers? You should.  If you do not know how to videotape and recognize the most common mechanical faults, how could you possibly help your son improve?

From the back it is clear that Bauer’s front foot during rotation is not directed at the target but is angled off a bit toward the left-hander’s batter’s box.  This also means that his landing leg knee is pointed in the same direction, when it should be directed at the target.

Where the front foot goes the knee follows.  Or conversely.  So why not just think about directing your front knee at the target?

This means that during trunk rotation his lead knee is not positioned over this landing foot which means his lead leg will extend late, thus reducing forces to the trunk and the arm.

Essentially, this just means that he needs to get his front foot down a fraction of second sooner, which could be adjusted during his next bullpen. That way, additional energy would go into trunk rotation and trunk flexion thus adding arm speed.

What I do not like about Bauer’s mechanics is the stiff lead leg action which produces a slowing action of the body. If he kept his lead leg bent he could move much faster which would add velocity.

We’ll keep an eye on Bauer over the next few starts.  What should help him is getting some rest during the All Star break. But I have a feeling he will continue to maintain his very over-the-top training routine of yoga moves, full body band work and 400 plus foot long toss.  UGH!!!

1 comment on “What Happened to Trevor Bauer’s 95-Plus Velocity?”

  1. Travis Kibel says:

    Trevor Bauer is incredibly fast through his mechanics. I have timed him vs. other professional pitcher’s, as well as amateur’s, and he inevitably always beats everyone to release. His lead foot landing slightly to left of mid-line has got absolutely nothing to do with any loss in velocity. My guess is that his absurd pre-game routine, which is actually more like a full blown off-season workout, is the reason his velocity has gone down some. He has got to be fatigued before he ever takes the mound. He might not think he is, but common sense tells you otherwise.

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