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Monday, March 12, 2012

ESPN: Trevor Bauer has a unique routine

Trevor Bauer throws the ball so far in his outfield corner-to-outfield corner long toss routine that not only do opponents stop to watch, but the Diamondbacks send a relay man out to the middle of the outfield to get the ball back to him. But that’s not the most impressive thing about his pregame warm-up routine. No, the most impressive thing is Bauer’s response when asked just how far it is from the left field corner to the right corner.

“It’s 330 feet down both lines, so it’s 330 times root 2,’’ he said, pulling out his smartphone. He called up the calculator accessory and punched in 330 times the square root of two. “That’s 466.69 feet.’‘

This is extreme long toss. You can see Bauer’s routine when he was at UCLA if you search on Youtube for “trevor bauer long toss.” It’s quite amazing. He gets up to 97 MPH in the video.

The Piehole of David Wells Posted: March 12, 2012 at 07:13 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: arizona, long toss, medical

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   1. flournoy Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4079382)
He's the guy who advised teams that don't allow long tossing not to draft him, right?

Anyway, a little trig in daily life never hurt anyone.
   2. Tripon Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4079385)
No, that was Dylan Bundy.
   3. Danny Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4079389)
   4. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 12, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4079390)
deleted
   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 13, 2012 at 04:25 AM (#4079492)
From Danny's link in #3:
The throwing program of Southern California-based Jaeger Sports, founded in 1991 and since sworn by among scores of big league pitchers, including former Cy Young winner Barry Zito of the Giants, three-time All-Star Dan Haren of the D-backs and Joel Zumaya of the Tigers
Yes, clearly long toss has helped Zito's arm strength and Zumaya's durability.

Is there any sort of consensus on why Zito's gone from a guy who threw 92-93 to a guy who sometimes struggles to get out of the low 80s? He's never missed a start with an arm injury, but something has to be wrong physically, doesn't it? You don't win a Cy Young Award and then decide to drop 10 MPH just for fun.

I'm agnostic on the benefits of long toss, but I'd love to hear an advocate like Jaeger address the idea that something has hindered Zito's velocity, and what that something is.
   6. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 13, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4079537)
Iirc, Zito dropped long toss when he went to SF - dropped several mph, went back to it, added some of it back.
   7. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 13, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4079538)
Fair enough. Thanks, Der K.

I'd love to know what the deal is with his loss of velocity, but then again I'm sure the Giants would love to know too.
   8. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: March 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4079626)
Since there's no Pitch f/x data from when he was in Oakland, we can't tell if Zito has added back any velocity.

From this picture, it does appear there was a dip in max fastball velocity right after he came to SF, but it looks remarkably consistent. Wikipedia cites a change in arm slot to 3/4 as the cause for increase in speed, but that last year he was back down. Fangraphs shows a dip in velocity.

Interesting to note, though, that he's never had an arm injury.
   9. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 13, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4079646)
To be clear - my #6 came from reading an article a few days ago about long toss - their observation may have been in error.
   10. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: March 13, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4079708)
To be clear - my #6 came from reading an article a few days ago about long toss - their observation may have been in error.


I don't know. I have a problem in that my questions tend to get stated as facts. I should have said in post #8, "how much fastball velocity did he lose, and how much matters?" Those are questions I really don't know how to answer, and the graph doesn't help me. It looks like he didn't lose any, but I don't know. Maybe the upper reaches of the bars for max FB velocity aren't a reliable indicator? I just need help interpreting the data. Clearly something changed with Zito. But what was it? I like the "no long toss" hypothesis.
   11. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: March 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4079795)
I really rate Trevor Bauer highly... I liked him more than either of the pitchers chosen ahead of him in the draft last year (Cole and Hultzen). I was very happy he fell to me in my keeper league's minors draft.
Here's a longer piece on Bauer and his methods if you want to read more about him.
   12. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4079803)
Is it Bauer who focuses on tries to make all his pitches go through the same spot thirty feet from the plate or so?
   13. Dock Ellis Posted: March 13, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4079892)
I like how Tim Lincecum has already been around long enough to influence up-and-coming pitchers.
   14. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: March 13, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4079910)
10: Me too, but I don't know if what I read was advocacy or rationalization or... it's very hard to tease out truth with this sort of thing (for me).
   15. BWV 1129 Posted: March 14, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4080380)
Is it Bauer who focuses on tries to make all his pitches go through the same spot thirty feet from the plate or so?

Yes.
   16. Tuque Posted: March 14, 2012 at 03:39 AM (#4080391)
John Sickels loves Bauer. I was sad that he didn't go to an AL team so I could pick him up for my keeper team. He seems like he could be the next Lincecum-Strasburg-Moore high Ks instant-contributor type. (That's, admittedly, insanely high expectations, but it's what I've read.)

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