Trevor Bauer, in his career, is undefeated against the Houston Astros. Pitcher wins are dumb as hell, and all, but Bauer’s ledger of 8-0 against the franchise who fraudulently won the 2017 World Series isn’t the only standout stat he owns against them. He’s pitched to a 2.90 ERA against them on the whole, while his 1.35 ERA against the Astros in their own ballpark stands as his single best mark in an opponents stadium.
Of course, those are all regular season stats, and don’t tell the entire story of how Bauer has interacted with the Astros. During the 2017 season in which the trash can banging and buzzergate began, Houston roughed Bauer up for 4 dingers and 7 total earned runs in 11.2 IP across two early season starts, and later tagged him for a dinger and 3 ER in 4 IP during the 2018 ALDS, a series which Houston swept.
As the ‘punishment’ for the Astros cheating scandal came down and the general consensus became that they a) definitely did a dirty deed and b) the players involved largely walked away unscathed from it, the reaction from players league-wide has been predictably vociferous. Bauer, never one to mince words, chimed in with his opinions yesterday, and as C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic relayed, Bauer sure didn’t hold back.
Bauer called out Justin Verlander, former Astros manager AJ Hinch, alluded to his long-standing feud with Alex Bregman, and even referenced how the celebration of Jose Altuve’s successes at the time came at the expense of the likes of Aaron Judge, and others. He threw dap towards Mike Fiers for his willingness to blow the whistle publicly on the entire thing, too, which is a pretty genuine thing to do given the early backlash Fiers faced from some blow-hards around the game. He also took aim at the patently bullshit comments from Houston owner Jim Crane, which was rather hilarious to read.
While the Astros stuff is certainly the focus here, props to Rosecrans for getting Bauer to riff on some of the other noteworthy topics surrounding the state of the game, too. There are notes about Bauer’s video with comments calling Commissioner Rob Manfred ‘a liar,’ and many others, and it certainly set the stage for the Reds pitchers and catchers officially reporting to Goodyear.
(I’ll be honest here - there have been many, many things that Bauer has done and said in his career that I’ve cringed about, that I’ve spoken out against, and that I’ve criticized. This, definitively, will not be one of those times. There’s not a thing he said in this particular rant that doesn’t seem almost 100% spot-on, really, and it’s refreshing to hear a player of his stature continue to take such a stance.)
In slightly less tabloid but also more important news, Reds pitchers and catchers have officially reported! MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon is on the scene, and he checked in with early notes from new signee (and former Houston Astro) Wade Miley. It certainly (predictably) sounds like Miley is quite excited to get going again with pitching coach Derek Johnson, with whom he turned his career around in Milwaukee a few seasons back.
Sheldon’s been busy in the early going. He spoke at length with Joey Votto about how he’s aiming to regain his form in 2020 after a rough 2019 season, while also chipping in with notes on the surgery rehab progression from both Eugenio Suarez and Nick Senzel, both of whom now have good chances to be ready to go by Opening Day.
FS-Ohio’s Jim Day is on the scene, too, and has video of the first pitching sessions of some of the prime arms on the Cincinnati staff.
Last week saw FanGraphs release their list of the Top 100 prospects in the game today, and while the Reds farm system has been rather lambasted by other publications in recent weeks, FanGraphs appears to be the highest on the current crop of Reds farmhands. While no Reds prospect cracked the top half of the list, four made the overall cut, led by Tyler Stephenson (73). Hunter Greene (77), Jose Garcia (82), and Nick Lodolo (92) joined him, while a trio of former Reds prospects (Jeter Downs, Josiah Gray, and Taylor Trammell) also predictably made the list.
Finally, there’s no link here, but we’ll be rolling out our annual Red Reports beginning Monday, profiling from top to bottom and around the curves each and every player we anticipate will contribute to the 2020 Reds, so turn on, tune in, and drop a 12-6 curve on the corner for strike three.