Trevor Bauer rocketed a ball toward the sky at Kauffman Stadium a few weeks ago during a game of long toss. It seemed like it would never come down. But it did. Landing perfectly in the glove of the Indians bullpen catcher on the other side of the field.
The coach tossed the ball to a buffer — a guy in the middle because he couldn’t have possibly made the same throw.
When I got home, I looked up Bauer’s long toss routine. According to this Big League Stew article, he maxes out at 450-475 feet—at least a football field and half. And he does so with seeming little effort. I know that’s not true. Partially because he says so in this Sports Illustrated article.
“It’s done with a very fluid motion,” Bauer told SI. “It appears to be effortless because the body is very synced up. It’s not effortless. It’s actually max effort, but it can only happen when the body is connected. To launch a ball 300, 350 or 400 feet, it takes a high level of athleticism. That’s a big reason why I like it.”
He also says it helps to loosen him up.
Perched overhead in the sports bar in right field, I was fascinated by every throw. The physical skill it takes to be able to throw a baseball that far is hard to fathom.
Just for some perspective, Doug Flutie tossed his “Miracle in Miami” from his own 37-yard line—a 63-yard pass. Kordell Stewart launched his “Miracle in Michigan” from his own 27-yard line—a 73-yard pass.
Throwing a football isn’t the same thing, but knowing that Bauer is throwing long toss that is approximately twice the distance of Stewart’s pass creates quite a visual, doesn’t it?
In 2012, while Bauer was still with the Diamondbacks, Ken Rosenthal wrote a story about how some of the Mariners lined up along the third baseline to watch Bauer throw long toss from pole to pole.
“So strange. So, so strange,” Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan says in the story. “Everyone has got their routines and stuff. But he was almost in our bullpen, throwing into their bullpen. That’s crazy.”
Several fans have captured one of Bauer’s long toss sessions on YouTube. Here’s one that’ll give you a good perspective on just how far he’s throwing the ball.