Trevor Bauer Has A Classic Miguel Cabrera Story

"We had this back and forth with all the players in Detroit."

Will Burchfield
July 27, 2020 - 12:48 pm
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If you ask Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer -- or pretty much anyone within the game of baseball -- MLB doesn't do enough to promote its stars. So Bauer started a company called Momentum aimed at giving fans behind-the-scenes access to the players they love. 

"The inside scoop on baseball players, the personalities, off-field hobbies, all the fun stories, stuff like that," Bauer told 97.1 The Ticket. 

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Like this story about Miguel Cabrera and Bauer's former Indians teammate Mike Clevinger. The background: it's late in the 2016 season and Clevinger is a rookie. 

"When I was in Cleveland we played (the Tigers) 19 times a year, so we had this back and forth with all the players in Detroit," Bauer said. "Miggy has this story where he’s standing on deck and he signals to our dugout and goes, ‘Hey, second pitch, changeup, homer, right center.' He comes up and sure enough he gets a second-pitch changeup from Clevinger and hits a homer to left center.

"As he’s rounding third base he gives kind of a shrug and a smirk, like, ‘Ahh, I missed it by a little bit,’ because he hit it to left center instead of right center. Just little things like that make you appreciate the game and the players so much more, and fans would love to hear that type of story more often. It happens all the time, fans just don’t get to hear it, so that’s what we’re trying to do." 

You can watch Clevinger tell the story himself on Momentum's YouTube channel. And if you watch Cabrera's reaction as he rounds third base, you can tell Justin Verlander -- who started that night for the Tigers -- was in on it, too. 

 

That was back when Cabrera was still in his prime. Injuries have slowed him down in the years since, but Bauer said the 11-time All-Star remains one of the harder outs in the game. Cabrera's 10-pitch walk against Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen in the ninth inning on Sunday set the table for C.J. Cron's game-winning homer.  

"You know the skills are all still there," Bauer said. "He’s been banged up a little, but he looks like he’s in great shape. Still dangerous. The thing that impresses me most about Miggy is how diligent he is with staying on his approach. You can’t get him to break it. He’ll pick a pitch to sit on, he’ll pick a zone to sit on and you’ll never really know what he’s looking for that at-bat but he stays with it.

"It’s a very tough at-bat to plan for because he can hit everything and he does hit everything, he just does it at different times." 

Bauer also shared a funny story about his new teammate and former Tiger Nicholas Castellanos. He said the two have been "going back and forth" since Castellanos joined the Reds this spring. 

"There’s a game I pitched against Detroit last year on Father’s Day where he had a 10-pitch at-bat against me. I signaled to him on the last pitch, I just showed him, hey, fastball’s coming, and threw it and ended up breaking his bat and getting him to ground out to second. So I’ve been wearing him out all summer camp about that: 'I can tell you what pitch is coming and you still can’t hit it,'" Bauer said.