Ok this is a bit of a boring fanpost. I wish I could dazzle you with pitching mechanics and expertise in kinesiology, but I don't have that. I just wanted to share this twitter exchange involving Trevor Bauer to add some clarity on what he's been working on which has led to positive commentary from the organization:
@Mad_Scientist2 I spent 5 months this off season perfecting them— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) February 16, 2014
We had seen some positive comments from Mickey Callaway and Terry Francona this winter about the progress Bauer has made with his delivery and how impressive he looks this year. Francona even said he looked like a "different pitcher." But if we review some of Callaway's comments, namely:
"He's kind of getting back to his old delivery," Callaway said. "It looks really good. It looked like his command is getting better and there's some more deception. I would say it's a more refined delivery. It's the same mechanics but a little more refined, and it looks a little more repeatable. It's a little less violent."
(bold added for emphasis)
Coupled with Francona's statement that
It was night and day, night and day...he looked like a different pitcher. That was nice to see."It almost sounded as if Bauer may have scrapped some of the ideas they were working on last year and got back to the basics to speed up the process and just kind of "get on with it" with anything that would be "good enough," so to speak, to move on. But when asked on twitter, Bauer's reply was that he worked 5 months in the offseason to perfect what they were working on last year, not to give up on the changes they were implementing.
As a reminder, based on comments from Antonetti, the goal of his delivery overhaul was to increase his durability and improve his chances against major league hitting. Perhaps with tweaks to his methods from last year his adjusted delivery comes out looking a little more like his old pitching than he looked in 2013, and that is what informs Callaway's commentary. I find it to be very positive that the lofty goals Bauer and the FO had for his mechanics were not abandoned for the sake of expedience due to the long/delayed development time experienced last year but that instead he worked at it all offseason to make sure they reached those goals. They had the patience to see it through, and Bauer stepped up to make it happen.
It sounds like at least from the perspective of a smooth repeatable delivery, his hard work has paid off so far. Let's hope it will now translate to effectiveness against live hitters and very soon, major league hitters.