Trevor Bauer pitches spring training inning with one eye closed for Trevor Bauer reasons

·2 min read

Becoming more than $100 million richer appears to have done very little to change Trevor Bauer.

The new Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher made his second spring training start on Saturday against the division rival San Diego Padres, throwing three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. It was a somewhat uneventful start, except for the fact that Bauer could be seen doing ... something with his left eye.

At first, it looked like he had caught something in his eye or was having some kind of reaction. At the end of the first inning, after striking out Padres shortstop Ha-seong Kim swinging, Bauer could be seen pointing to his closed eye.

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Bauer sort of explained what he was doing while speaking with reporters after the start:

"I figured if they can’t score off of me with one eye open, it's going to be difficult to score off me with two eyes open. Just having a little bit of fun."

"There’s definitely a reason behind it ... if I wanted to share, I definitely would have already."

He further elaborated in another answer, confirming he threw the first inning with his eye closed via The Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna:

"I like making myself uncomfortable and throwing different stuff my way and trying to find a solution for it. That’s how you improve. Find a way to make yourself uncomfortable, then get comfortable with it and do it again."

From that second answer, it seems possible that Bauer was attempting some odd form of differential training, a practice he discussed in "The MVP Machine" by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik. Basically, the idea — usually accomplished with different-sized or weighted balls — is to change the task of throwing so that each throw feels a little different, forcing the pitcher's mind to stay active and his body to adapt while practicing.

His explanation in the book:

"It turns out the quickest way to acquire a new skill is to force yourself to do that skill with a constantly changing environment, implement, or activity," Bauer says. "If you can vary one of those [elements] every single time, with the same goal, then your body acquires that skill a lot more quickly."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also added there's "a method to his madness" after the game. In this case, maybe it's getting better at pitching by removing his depth perception during a glorified scrimmage.

Or the man just wanted attention. With Bauer, both answers can usually be valid.

Pitching with one eye closed, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the second inning of a spring training baseball game Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Sure, why not. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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