Skip to content

Miguel Montero on Trevor Bauer: “He never wanted to listen”

Feb 12, 2013, 6:48 AM EDT

Trevor Bauer Getty Images

It was understood that the Diamondbacks trade of pitching prospect Trevor Bauer had more to do with the team’s opinion of his attitude than its opinion of his talent. Yes, he struggled during his callup last year, but he just turned 22 and struck out 11.5 batters per nine innings in two minor league seasons. A bit better control and this kid could be a star.

In light of that, unloading him for Didi Gregorius and Tony Sipp had just as much if not more to do with the Dbacks not liking the cut of Bauer’s jib than his pitching chops.

Adam Green of Arizona Sports.com spoke to Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and Montero was unusually forthcoming about just how little Arizona cared for that jib:

“When you get a guy like that and he thinks he’s got everything figured out, it’s just tough to commence and try to get on the same page with you … Since day one in Spring Training I caught him and he killed me because he threw about 100 pitches the first day,” Montero said, adding he told Bauer he should take it a bit slower and work on locating his fastball first before working on his breaking pitches. “And he said ‘yes’, and the next time he threw I saw him doing the same thing,” Montero said. “He never wanted to listen … Good luck to Carlos Santana.”

Yikes.

It’s hard for me to not have a bit of sympathy for Bauer. Smarts + youth + confidence + stubbornness is not an easy set of attributes to carry in a lot of settings. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I will say I’m a pretty smart guy. But I am also stubborn and when I was young I didn’t just sound arrogant, I often was, and I had an unwarranted confidence in my own abilities.  When I got out of law school I got into a professional environment where there was a Way of Doing Things, and I didn’t especially cotton to it. I’d buck it and think I knew better. Sometimes, yes, I actually did. I still think a lot of things I was expected to do as a baby lawyer were dumb and unnecessary.

After a while, though, I came to realize that the Way of Doing Things was in place for a lot of good reasons. It still chafed. I still often felt that I knew better. I still had an awful time trying to conform to the Way of Doing Things. But that Way, when I gave it a chance, usually made my life easier and helped me learn and grow. I learned and grew way more slowly, however, than the people who came in with some humility, an open mind and the realization that the folks who were in charge of the Way of Doing Things had at least some method to their apparent madness.

This is not to say that Kirk Gibson, Miguel Montero and the Arizona Diamondbacks have a monopoly on wisdom when it comes to how to integrate a then-21 year-old phenom into a big league setting. To the contrary, there are a lot of ways to skin a cat. Especially when that cat is a smart, young, confident and stubborn pitcher. Indeed, because a talented pitcher is a far more rare and valuable commodity than a kid out of law school, a team can and should at least try to tailor their Way of Doing Things to the talent they have as opposed to insisting on some My Way or the Highway approach. There have been flaky pitchers in the past and there will be flaky pitchers in the future. If they’re good, they always find homes.

But if what Montero is saying is true, and Bauer was unwilling to at least try to meet him and the Diamondbacks halfway — to at least give their far more experienced Way of Doing Things a chance — it suggests that the young man is going to have more trouble than most navigating the path between phenom and ace. Maybe Terry Francona and Carlos Santana are guys who can handle Bauer and tailor a system to suit his needs. But maybe they’re not. Maybe it will take two or three more stops and contentious spring trainings before Bauer either changes or finds someone with whom he can click.

I managed to eventually make peace with the Way of Doing Things in my legal career. But it was a rough peace, it took longer than it should have and, ultimately, it probably contributed to that career not being as long or as successful as it could have been had I been on board from day one.  Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen to Trevor Bauer.

Or, if it does happen, here’s hoping he finds a place where he can work by himself all day like I did. That’s a pretty great setting for smart, overly-confident and stubborn people. We’re a very hard to work with bunch.

Latest Posts
  1. Ryan Braun victimized Jason Grilli for the second game in a row

    Apr 20, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

    Ryan Braun likes hitting in the state of Pennsylvania.

  2. Jeff Francoeur made a relief appearance for the El Paso Chihuahuas

    Apr 20, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT

    Jeff Francoeur AP

    Jeff Francoeur is known for his arm, but who knew he’d be useful as a pitcher?

  3. Boston Marathon heroes remembered with pregame ceremony at Fenway Park

    Apr 20, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

    David Ortiz Getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox and Orioles teamed up for a touching tribute at Fenway Park on Sunday.

  4. Bobby Abreu is expected to join the Mets on Monday

    Apr 20, 2014, 6:58 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies Photo Day Getty Images

    40-year-old Bobby Abreu is expected to join the Mets on Monday.

  5. Chipper Jones chimed in on the Carlos Gomez incident

    Apr 20, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    Chipper Jones is not a fan of Carlos Gomez.

  6. Clayton Kershaw throws three simulated innings, rehab assignment could be next

    Apr 20, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    clayton kershaw getty Getty Images

    Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw a 51-pitch, three-inning simulated game on Sunday in Los Angeles and could soon be cleared to embark on a minor league rehab assignment.

  7. Tyler Lyons will take Joe Kelly’s rotation spot

    Apr 20, 2014, 4:12 PM EDT

    tyler lyons getty Getty Images

    The Cardinals have decided on a fill-in for starting pitcher Joe Kelly, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained left hamstring that he suffered Wednesday while trying to beat out a groundball. It’ll be 26-year-old lefty Tyler Lyons.

  8. Benches clear in Pittsburgh after the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez bat flips a third-inning triple

    Apr 20, 2014, 3:07 PM EDT

    carlos gomez getty Getty Images

    A pretty vicious brawl just went down at PNC Park after Carlos Gomez of the Brewers went into home run celebration mode after slugging a Gerrit Cole pitch to the top of the center field wall …

  9. Twins claim outfielder Sam Fuld off waivers from A’s

    Apr 20, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT

    sam fuld getty Getty Images

    As first relayed by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Twins have claimed outfielder Sam Fuld off waivers from the A’s. Fuld was designated for assignment by Oakland last Saturday.

  10. Cubs prospect Javier Baez back in action at AAA Iowa after missing one week with sore ankle

    Apr 20, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

    javier baez getty AP

    MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Cubs top shortstop prospect Javier Baez is back in the lineup Sunday afternoon at Triple-A Iowa after missing a little over a week with soreness in his left ankle. He’ll serve as Iowa’s DH initially.

  11. Yankees activate Mark Teixeira from the disabled list

    Apr 20, 2014, 1:08 PM EDT

    mark teixeira getty Getty Images

    Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is recovered from his Grade 1 right hamstring strain and is starting Sunday for the first time in over two weeks.

  12. Tigers release shortstop Alex Gonzalez

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT

    alex gonzalez getty Getty Images

    The Tigers acquired Alex Gonzalez from the Orioles in late March after losing Jose Iglesias for the year and the veteran shortstop smacked a walkoff RBI single for Detroit on Opening Day. But he managed just three hits in 28 plate appearances after that and was officially released from the 25-man roster on Sunday.

  13. Kyle Farnsworth, 38, takes over as Mets’ closer

    Apr 20, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    kyle farnsworth getty Getty Images

    Jose Valverde allowed three runs in an inning of work Saturday night against the Braves — the latest in a string of rough outings. So manager Terry Collins decided Sunday morning to make a change …

  14. Ivan Nova diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    ivan nova yankees getty Getty Images

    Yankees starter Ivan Nova has been diagnosed with a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow — an injury that almost always leads to Tommy John surgery.

  15. Craig Kimbrel struggles in return from right shoulder issue, apologizes for reaction to being pulled

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    kimbrel getty Getty Images

    Craig Kimbrel was called on Saturday for the first time since complaining of discomfort in his shoulder last Monday. The appearance did not go smoothly.

  16. VIDEO: Albert Pujols slugs his 498th career home run

    Apr 20, 2014, 9:37 AM EDT

    albert pujols getty Getty Images

    Watch as Angels first baseman Albert Pujols moved to within two home runs of the big 500-homer milestone on Saturday afternoon against Tigers closer Joe Nathan …

  17. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    Apr 20, 2014, 8:52 AM EDT

    mark buehrle getty Getty Images

    Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings of shutout ball and Jose Reyes had an RBI single in his first game back from a hamstring strain as Toronto rolled to a 5-0 win over the Indians on Saturday afternoon in Cleveland. Buehrle yielded just four hits and is now 4-0 on the season with a 0.64 ERA in 28 innings.

  18. Ike Davis solid in debut with Pirates

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT

    Ike Davis Ike Davis

    Ike Davis makes a good impression with his new team.

  19. Evan Longoria becomes Rays franchise leader with 164th career home run

    Apr 19, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

    New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

    Evan Longoria climbs to the top of yet another Rays franchise leaderboard.

  20. John Lannan accepts assignment to Triple-A Las Vegas

    Apr 19, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets

    John Lannan will report to Triple-A Las Vegas after being outrighted on Wednesday by the Mets.

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5570)
  2. G. Springer (3961)
  3. M. Machado (3301)
  4. B. Harper (2976)
  5. C. Kimbrel (2929)
  1. I. Davis (2891)
  2. K. Uehara (2862)
  3. J. Chavez (2701)
  4. D. Pedroia (2621)
  5. J. Reyes (2618)