ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 28: Trevor Bauer #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in his MLB debut against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 28, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Looking at the confidence of two young pitchers with contrasting personalities.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect Trevor Bauer has gotten a reputation of being unconventional and also a bit cocky. He is stubborn about his pregame routine. He believes in his pitching ability -- to a fault.
Bauer went as far as to say something to the effect that he is never going to pitch to the hitters' weaknesses, but rather pitch to his strengths, which essentially says, "no matter what, my best stuff is better than what you can do to it. Period."
Manager Kirk Gibson wasn't fazed by the idea that Bauer is cocky. "That's what makes him good," he said.
That doesn't mean he doesn't have things to learn or adjustments to make. Gibby said this on Thursday:
"I think everybody, you come to the big leagues and you live and you learn...He's going to change, Miggy's going to change. We're all going to change on that whole subject. We're trying to get to know each other. It's normal...
"He is unconventional in some of the ways he gets ready and things like that. I told you we were going to sit back and watch it and continue to communicate on it. We'll come together on it. We're aware of everything that goes on with that whole relationship and his development...
"We're not going to sit him down after two starts and say 'we want you to do this and this and this.' It's a process...
"If he continues to have bad results, he will change. If not, he won't be here. He's no different than anyone else."
"Bauer's cocky and you know it," Gibson told the media.
But the thing is that he isn't the only guy in the clubhouse, or even the only rookie pitcher with the same type of mentality.
Enter Patrick Corbin, the young lefty, who looks like he is very mature on the mound. "Mature beyond his years" is how one writer described him in the pregame press conference.
Gibson corrected the writer.
"He's cocky, but he's cocky in a different way," he explained. "You woudln't ever know it."
Gibson described Corbin as being "very fierce in his competition."
"He's very devilish in his way he wants to compete with you," said Gibson about his young lefty. "I don't think that there's anything you could go do with Patrick Corbin that secretly he wouldn't be saying, 'I'm gonna kick your ass.'"
Apparently, he just does not portray that publicly.
Bauer just comes with a different pedigree. he was the third overall pick in last years draft. He is being crowned as the next best thing in baseball when talking about young pitchers. He is expected to be an ace.
Corbin doesn't have that background. His ceiling is not expected to be that of a number one or even number two starter.
That doesn't mean that he doesn't think he's better than anyone else on that field. It just manifests itself differently.
Corbin will likely remain the quieter guy on the field and in the clubhouse.
Bauer will keep on being who he is. and once he has made the necessary adjustments and shows just how good he will be, then all that bravado and arrogance won't matter, It will be just part of the package.
It is possible that neither Bauer nor Corbin start again after the All-star break. Joe Saunders returns to the rotation. Josh Collmenter just might hold on to his spot in the rotation. that would mean that one would be in the bullpen and the other back to the minor leagues.
If that is the case, it would be Corbin in Phoenix and Bauer in Reno. Bauer can't pitch out of the pen right now because of the length of time it takes to get him ready.
Is there anything wrong with cocky? That depends on the results.
the D-backs have themselves some young, arrogant pitchers. It will probably not be too long until they are both in the rotation competing against one another and hopefully showing opposing batters why exactly they are better than everyone else.
That's just the way you want your players.
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