Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 7/19/12

Following Trevor Bauer‘s Tuesday start against Cincinnati — three innings, five walks, one hit (a home run) and three earned runs — the Diamondbacks returned their top prospect to the minor leagues. In four starts with Arizona this season, Bauer lasted just 16.1 innings. He struck out 17 but walked 13 and allowed two home runs. The result is an ERA of 6.06, a FIP of 5.15, and a deserved demotion back to Triple-A Reno.

Mike Newman saw Bauer pitch in Double-A and noted his well-documented tendency to throw his fastball up in the strike zone. Newman talked to a scout who mentioned this might be a problem:

Bauer will have outings where he looks like a young Kerry Wood and strikes out 15, but he’ll also be chased in the second on occasion as well. He just kind of throws the fastball up there. It also makes me wonder how he’ll fare a second time through the league.

Newman said he wasn’t swayed by seeing Bauer work up in the zone; apparently, his scout contact wasn’t either. And at least on the point of Bauer being chased early, they’ve been right — his starts have lasted 4, 3.1, 6 and 3 innings respectively. The problem hasn’t been leaving the fastball up in the zone, though. Instead, Bauer has routinely elevated above and beyond the strike zone. Observe, his fastballs in his four major league starts:

The pitches highlighted in green resulted in hits, with the stars representing run-scoring hits (including both home runs). Bauer threw plenty of pitches in the higher part of the strike zone and allowed a few hits there, but hitters had equal success when he tried to attack the lower part of the zone as well. His control over the horizontal part of the plate has been fine — nearly all of his pitches fall within half a foot of the strike zone horizontally.

Instead, the problem is an inability to keep the ball below the batters elbows, much less down in the strike zone. Bauer threw 69 fastballs above three feet out of 167 total. Of those 69, 37 were balls, four were called strikes and just three went for swinging strikes. Of the 98 fastballs he threw below three feet, he drew 32 called strikes against 25 balls.

Bauer made a fascinating tweet about his pitching style after his May 1st start at Double-A in which he allowed eight hits and five runs in 5.2 innings:

Closing thoughts on the night. I hate ground balls. The more strikeouts and fly balls I get the better

— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) May 2, 2012

Bauer had no trouble getting strikeouts on the major league level, and he allowed more balls in the air (24) than ground balls (20). Was he trying too hard to elevate and keep the ball off the ground in his time in Arizona this season? Either way, Bauer will need to find a way to execute his game plan while still keeping the ball at a reasonable height as it crosses home plate.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Eagles interested in bringing back Nick Foles

Report: Manning hinted to teammates he plans to retire

Barry Sanders shares thoughts on Megatron retirement talk

Report: Marshawn Lynch told friends he is retiring

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Marcin Gortat fires back at critic on Twitter

WATCH: Kerr told Warriors he was happy to have close game

Broncos could have tough decision with franchise tag

WATCH: Steph Curry does 'Dab' on court on eve of Super Bowl

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker