After winning a Cy Young Award in 2020, Trevor Bauer only wants to get better. On Sunday morning, Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior spoke with the media via Zoom, talking about how Bauer has already made a huge impact with the coaching staff.
“He’s looking for a place where he can collaborate and throw ideas off,” Prior said. “We listen to him and he listens to us. I think he’s open to hearing what we do and how we do things. We want to know what he does.”
Prior knows that Bauer has spent a lot of time and effort to understand who he is as a pitcher and what makes him the best version of himself. The Dodgers want to know what he looks for and what the data points are that he’d like to try and lock in on for the 2021 season. Prior added that he’s sure what Bauer is interested in is going to have a carryover to the other pitchers.
“There’s been some initial conversations like the stuff he likes to track in bullpens,” Prior said. “Over the days we’re going to have more conversations on what he needs and what he needs from us so we can support what he wants to do on the field.”
There has been a lot of people who have criticized Bauer for winning a Cy Young Award in a condensed season, especially with him not having an elite career up to that point. Prior isn’t worried, adding that this is a guy who has always been a talented pitcher, saying there was a reason he was such a high draft pick.
Although it was a 60-game season, Prior isn’t worried about Bauer having to do that over a 162-game season.
“I’m not worried about the adversity,” he said. “Last year he dealt. To expect him to pitch at that high-level for 35 starts, even the Cy Young winners in a normal season have bad games. I don’t expect it to be an issue. We’re excited to see what he can do and what he’s going to help us do and support our goal of winning a championship.”
Prior has noticed that over the last few seasons, Bauer’s ability to command the ball and command his pitches has gotten better. He said that Bauer is always looking for different ways as to how he can get better. During the free-agency process, Bauer asked the Dodgers early on what they’d be able to do for him. He said that he doesn’t just want to do what he’s doing, but he wants to be thinking forward and trying to stay ahead of the game in any way he can.
“If we identify something, he wants to be told,” Prior said. “He’s expressed that. If you got something, bring it to me. I want to hear it.”