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Bauer enjoys stint as MLB Network analyst

October 19, 2018

CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer thought through his hectic schedule and weighed whether he needed to keep some suits on hand. There was a bullpen session for a biomechanics reading in Phoenix, a couple of season-ending assessments in Los Angeles and then some time at home in Houston.Bauer decided that his

CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer thought through his hectic schedule and weighed whether he needed to keep some suits on hand. There was a bullpen session for a biomechanics reading in Phoenix, a couple of season-ending assessments in Los Angeles and then some time at home in Houston.
Bauer decided that his suits could be shipped to Seattle, where he spends the bulk of his time training over the offseason, and the Indians pitcher embarked on his itinerary. Then, while on a flight to Dallas on Sunday evening, he received an e-mail from his agency. MLB Network wanted Bauer to join the MLB Tonight cast as a guest analyst for postseason coverage. There was just one request.
The only thing they ask is that you bring two suits.
"I was like, 'Well, shoot,'" Bauer said with a laugh on Friday.
After a frantic trip to a Dallas store, Bauer made his way to New York with a pair of awkward-fitting suits and offered his insights on air. The right-hander helped out with the postgame show after Boston's 8-6 win over the Astros in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, and then returned for pregame coverage before Thursday's Game 5 pennant-clinching victory for the Red Sox.
Wednesday's game was a drama-filled tilt between Houston and Boston that lasted deep into the night, meaning Bauer did not appear on screen until 1:15 a.m. ET. Seated between analysts Al Leiter and Bill Ripken, Bauer was introduced by host Greg Amsinger.
"How do you follow that?" Bauer asked with a smile.
There are many facets to Bauer's personality, but the one on display for a national audience was a polished professional who had plenty of experienced and technical insight to offer. Whether standing in front of his locker or typing on his Twitter account, Bauer is never shy about speaking his mind or offering strong opinions. On MLB Network, the pitcher looked and sounded right at home while providing analysis.

Behind the scenes, Bauer helped come up with ways to create a video that illustrated how Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw's pitches work together. In Wednesday night's postgame show, Bauer helped with the breakdown of Jose Altuve's near home run, which was ruled an out due to fan interference on a Mookie Betts' catch attempt. During a segment on Thursday's show, Bauer sat down with host Brian Kenny and held a discussion on pitch design.

"That was fun," Bauer said. "[I enjoyed] any of the segments where it was just kind of going back and forth and talking about baseball. The Mookie Betts-Altuve home run segment that we got to do -- kind of there on the wall, where we got to do some demonstration and whatnot -- was really fun. Obviously, the pitch design stuff, that's my realm. So, that was a good one as well."
Bauer -- known for his scientific approach to pitching -- said getting to see all the work that goes into that kind of show was interesting for him.
"The behind the scenes, that's always the stuff I'm most interested in," Bauer said. "Like, sitting in the video room and watching, like, 'OK, this tape is going to be played and here's how we decide what tapes we're going to make. Here's how the tapes are made. And then here's how the commentary goes over them.' Like, being restricted to that minute-long segment or whatever and having to hit a certain couple key points, it's interesting how that plays together.

"And then just all the on-screen graphics. I've been doing that stuff for years just internally. But, to see how they do it and their process and workflows and all that stuff was very interesting. I enjoyed that part of it. And then all the work that goes into seeing four guys [talking] on stage. There's two to three times that many people in the actual room, in the studio, moving the jibs around, the lights, the cameras, the steady cams, all that different stuff. Everyone's mic'd up, talking to each other. It's pretty interesting."
Could broadcasting be in Bauer's future when his playing days are over?
"There's many players they could've had on," Bauer said. "So, I'm appreciative that they thought I have some value to add in that way. Can I see myself doing it down the road? Yeah, I could see myself doing it here or there. I don't think I'd ever be on the show nightly. I think there are other things in life that I'm looking forward to doing."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.