Trevor Bauer has been doing some research on spin rates of pitches, and his findings have made him confident enough to make a bold claim about the Astros staff.
The Indians starter responded to a tweet from Driveline Baseball founder Kyle Boddy about the Houston staff potentially doctoring baseballs by adding substances to the outside, and he insinuated the Astros have found "a really quick way" to help pitchers increase the rotation on their pitches after they get traded to the team.
It's a brash statement to make, particularly considering the platform he used and also because he refused to provide any additional evidence to support his claim at this time. He did offer up a small insight into his results on how the rotation of the ball is affected by adding a substance, but when it came to the Astros specifically, he said, "Everything will come in due time."
Of course, the Astros didn't appreciate Bauer's comments, and they made sure to let him know it.
Houston manager A.J. Hinch also responded to Bauer's claim, calling it "ridiculous" for this to even be a topic without any evidence.
There's a lot going on here, and hopefully this will all be discussed when the Indians go to Houston May 18 for a three-game set with the Astros. Or maybe when the Astros are in Cleveland for a four-game series the following week.
Either way, Bauer will have plenty of opportunities this month to follow up on his claims in a face-to-face setting if he so chooses.
Bauer further explained his comments about the Astros Wednesday, saying that he is not accusing them of cheating, but added, "There is a problem in a baseball right now that has to do with sticky substances and spin rates," according to Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal.
When Bauer was asked directly about explaining how the Astros could be cheating by Molly Knight on Tuesday though, he asked about how he could share the information he had in the way that "would make the most people mad," adding that that approach "would be most consistent with my brand apparently."
But he did also offer this up later on Tuesday.
You can read Bauer's full comments from Wednesday below.
I want to make it abundantly clear and not mince words on it. I have no problem with any other organization in the league. None. Regarding the Astros. I think they do a great job of player development. I have no accusations against them at all. I've never made any. And I'm not accusing them of cheating.
That being said. There is a problem in baseball right now that has to do with sticky substances and spin rates. We might not have had the technology before to measure how sticky stuff affects the ball, how it spins, how it moves. But all that research is clear now. We now know how it affects spin rate and we know how spin rate affects outcomes and pitches and movements that have a big difference in a game, a season and each individual player's career. And it's my opinion that it is the same argument that was used when steroids were going on in the game. If you just look the other way and you let some people do it, the people who choose not to do it are now at a competitive disadvantage. And that's what's going on right now. ...
Allow it. I don't see that there's a way to enforce it. Because you can't go check a pitcher every single inning, every single pitch. And that's currently how it is. You can get thrown out of a game and suspended for it if an umpire comes out and checks and finds out. But it doesn't happen. So, pick a substance that's sticky, that gives you all the performance benefits and just put it on the back of the mound. That way if you want to use it you can. And everybody knows its being used. And if you want to use other substances and skirt the rule, whatever. Have a certain amount of outlawed substances, Vaseline or whatever. But if you want to use sticky stuff, it's right there on the mound. Put your fingers on it and throw. A lot of hitters are fine with it, because like it's been said, they don't want projectiles flying at 100 mph at their head and the pitcher has no clue where it's going. And over 69 percent of the league probably uses it anyway. So there's not really a whole lot of difference. But just make it legal, so that way it's an even playing field. And that way, when I use surgical grade stuff on my stitches on the backside of a pinky finger that's never going to touch the ball and has no effect on the game at all, i can use it and not be thrown out of the game or whatever. Meanwhile, while I can't use that stuff to pitch for my team in the postseason, you have guys using sticky stuff every single time they pitch, increasing their spin rate 200-300 rpm and having a massive competitive advantage.
Bauer's next expected start is Saturday against the Yankees in New York.