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Francona likes Bauer's long-toss warm-up routine

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In the time leading up to Trevor Bauer's first live batting practice session of the spring on Tuesday, the young Indians pitcher showed off his unique long-toss routine.

When Bauer reached his maximum distance, he was near the warning track in left-center field, throwing long, looping tosses back to a bullpen catcher positioned midway down the right-field line. It is an unconventional approach, but manager Terry Francona sees no issues.

"I like it," Francona said. "Long tossing is great. It's something as an organization we're trying to incorporate more, as long as you do it correctly. It's all about building arm strength. Sometimes throwing builds arm strength and sometimes it depletes it. People are different.

"As an organization, we've really tried to increase our long toss."

Bauer has indicated that his long-toss routine can sometimes reach around 400 feet in throwing distance. Before his outings, the 22-year-old right-hander typically will start his warm-up ritual roughly 80 minutes before the game's first pitch.

Bauer's workout regimen has been well documented, but the pitcher is hardly the first player to implement this type of long-toss program. Last season, veteran sinkerballer Derek Lowe would throw from foul pole to foul pole on occasion as part of a warm-up routine with the Indians.

"Some guys do it," Francona said, "but it's just not noticeable because they don't throw it quite as far."

Cleveland acquired Bauer over the winter as part of a nine-player, three-team trade with Arizona and Cincinnati in December. This spring, the right-hander is competing for one of the vacancies at the back end of the Tribe's rotation.

In 29 career Minor League starts, Bauer has gone 13-4 with a 3.00 ERA, piling up 200 strikeouts against 73 walks in 156 innings. Last year, he went 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, striking out 157 in 130 1/3 innings. Bauer went 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four outings with the D-backs last season.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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