The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal dominated headlines throughout this offseason. Predictably, the story isn't going away just because spring training is here. For an example of that, consider what happened during the fourth inning of Monday's Cactus League game between the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Reds right-hander Trevor Bauer, a vocal critic of the Astros, did something unusual as he faced Matt Beaty. Before coming into his delivery, Bauer would signal to Beaty what pitch was coming. Yes, Bauer intentionally gave away the element of surprise that is sacred to pitchers.
You can watch most of sequence by clicking here, but the long and short of it is that Bauer used the glove signals pitchers implement during bullpen sessions -- be it flaring the glove, sweeping it, what have you -- to non-vocally alert the catcher to what's coming. The Reds' broadcast booth even picked up on it as it was happening.
"There's a little thing going on with sign-stealing," Dietrich said. "Trevor's not too fond of it, so he figured he's going to try something new this season, and he's going to start telling the batters what's coming, and that way there's no if, ands, or buts about what's going on."
Amusingly, Bauer was still able to retire Beaty, even after giving him the pre-pitch heads up.
Bauer is entering his first full season with the Reds. He hopes to find more success than he did during his initial run in Cincinnati, as he posted a 6.39 ERA in 10 games after being traded from Cleveland at the deadline. Bauer is scheduled to hit free agency after the season, making this a pivotal year for him if he's to maximize his earnings.