The Trevor Bauer period in Japan started Friday at an introductory information convention, the place he pulled a blue and white Yokohama DeNA BayStars jersey over a white shirt and pink tie.
The 2020 Cy Younger Award winner is in Japan on a one-year deal that would let him show himself and return to Main League Baseball, the place he was unable to search out work this season even after an arbitrator decreased his unprecedented 324-game suspension for violating the league’s home violence and sexual assault coverage.
He was minimize in January by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who nonetheless owe him $22.5 million this season.
Not a single Japanese reporter requested him about his suspension in the USA or the circumstances surrounding it.
The one query about it got here from The Related Press. Bauer disputed the very fact the query prompt he was suspended from the key leagues.
“I do not imagine that is correct,” he mentioned of the suspension. “However I am excited to be right here. I am excited to pitch once more. I’ve at all times wished to play in Japan.”
He mentioned afterward the suspension dealt technically with problems with pay, and he mentioned he had contacted main league groups about taking part in this yr. He would have been eligible, however he didn’t say if he had presents.
Bauer was launched by the Dodgers three weeks after an arbitrator decreased his suspension imposed by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred from 324 to 194 video games.
Manfred suspended Bauer final April
The penalty adopted an investigation into home violence allegations, which the pitcher has denied.
Manfred suspended Bauer final April for violating the league’s home violence and sexual assault coverage, after a San Diego lady mentioned he beat and sexually abused her in 2021.
Bauer has maintained he did nothing fallacious, saying every little thing that occurred between him and the girl was consensual. He was by no means charged with a criminal offense.
Bauer joined his hometown Dodgers earlier than the 2021 season and was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 17 begins earlier than being positioned on paid go away.
Bauer mentioned his aim with the BayStars was to strike out 200 and preserve his common fastball velocity at 96 mph – the latter is why he’ll put on No. 96. He mentioned he’s additionally engaged on a greater changeup pitch he referred to as a “cut up change-up.”
He mentioned he hoped to play by mid-April – about two weeks after the Japanese season begins – and mentioned he has been coaching for the final 1 1/2 years.
“I have been doing a number of energy coaching and throwing,” he mentioned. “I did not actually take any day without work. So I’ve had a yr and a half of growth time. I am stronger than ever. Extra highly effective than ever.”
Yokohama has not gained a title in 25 years, and Bauer mentioned that was his aim within the one-year deal.
“At first, I need to assist the Stars win a championship,” he mentioned. “That includes pitching effectively. That includes serving to teammates and studying from them. If they’ve questions – you understand – share my information with them.”
He additionally repeated a number of instances about his want to play in Japan, courting from a collegiate event in 2009 on the Tokyo Dome. He mentioned taking part in in Japan whereas at UCLA was on his thoughts even earlier than profitable the Cy Younger – and likewise instantly after.
“The Tokyo Dome was bought out,” he mentioned. “I would by no means performed in entrance of that many individuals – most likely mixed in my life. In the USA, school video games aren’t very huge, so seeing that quantity of ardour. How many individuals got here to a school recreation in Japan. It actually struck me.”
He is been working towards with the Japanese ball, which he mentioned was barely softer with greater seams.
“However total it simply appears like a baseball and the pitches transfer the identical. The rate is analogous. I do not discover a lot of a distinction.”
He was requested about his stage of Japanese, which is about zero.
“I do not know very a lot in any respect. I am wanting ahead to studying,” he mentioned. “The primary issues I must be taught are the baseball phrases.”
Different groups in Japan have made related contentious signings earlier than.
Former main league reliever Roberto Osuna – who acquired a 75-game suspension for violating MLB’s home violence coverage – signed final season with the Chiba Lotte Marines. He has signed for this season with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
In 1987, Dodgers reduction pitcher Steve Howe, who had a profession plagued with drug issues, tried to signal with the Seibu Lions. However he didn’t play within the nation after the Japanese baseball commissioner disqualified Howe due to his historical past of drug abuse.
Bauer was an All-Star in 2018 and went 83-69 with a 3.79 ERA in 10 seasons for Arizona (2012), Cleveland, (2013-19), Cincinnati (2019-20) and the Dodgers. He gained the NL Cy Younger Award with Cincinnati through the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.