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Degenerate39
01-14-2007, 07:35 PM
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Homer holds key to season
Reds insider
It's going to come down to Homer.

For the Reds to have a chance to break through and leave the trail of losing seasons behind, Homer Bailey is going to have to be part of the rotation and pitch well.

That is not what the Reds plan to do. Bailey will almost certainly start the year at Triple-A. And there's no guarantee that he's ready for success in the majors.


But it says here that ultimate success or failure of the 2007 Reds will be tied to Bailey.

If Bailey can do for the Reds in 2007 what Justin Verlander did for the Detroit Tigers in 2006, the Reds can be contenders for the postseason.

Verlander, after spending most of 2005 dominating at Single-A and Double-A, went 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA for the Tigers in last season. He won the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

It would be a huge leap for Bailey to do that. Verlander was 23 when the '06 season started. He pitched three years of college ball.

Bailey doesn't turn 21 until May 3.

Verlander's numbers in the minors in 2005 were better than Bailey's were in 2006, and Verlander was given two starts in the majors at end of '05.

So it may be a stretch to hope that Bailey can be close to having the success Verlander had.

But if I'm running the Reds, I take a shot on Bailey.

Because when you look at the Reds today - just over a month from the start of spring training - it's hard to fathom them competing for the National League Central title.

In other words, Wednesday's trade for Jeff Keppinger didn't put the Reds over the top.

Nothing against Keppinger - it sounds as if he could be a nice addition coming off the bench - but the trade for him was like a lot of the moves the Reds made this offseason. You could see the merit in it, but it wasn't likely to sell one ticket.

General manager Wayne Krivksy said Friday that he likes the club he's put together.

"I think we're better," he said. "We improved defensively. We've got competition for the (fifth) starting spot. We're looking for more ways to improve. I like the additions we've made."

But for the first time in a long time, you've got to wonder if the Reds can score enough runs to be competitive. The offense struggled mightily in August and September last season, and the one guy who came through consistently late in the year, Rich Aurilia, is now a San Francisco Giant.

Because if the offense figures to be watered down from recent years - remember the Reds led the NL in runs scored two seasons ago - the success of this team is going to depend on pitching and defense.

That brings us back to Bailey. Krivksy mentioned the competition for the fifth spot. Matt Belisle, Elizardo Ramirez, Phil Dumatrait and Bobby Livingston will compete for the spot along with Bailey.

All of the above have potential. But Bailey is the only one in the field who projects as a top-of-the-rotation type of pitcher.

You have to admire the Reds' efforts to be cautious with Bailey.

But if the Reds want to break through this year, the guess here is Bailey is going to have to be pitching at Great American Ball Park on or before his 21st birthday.

JIMMY B: Read in Baseball America that Washington GM Jim Bowden was building the Nationals for the future. A couple of days later, Bowden signs a guy, Brandon Claussen, who turns 28 May 1 and is coming off shoulder surgery.

Bowden talked a lot about building for the future when he was here. The future never came.

EARLY ARRIVAL: Josh Hamilton, the Rule 5 draftee, plans on getting to Sarasota in late January.

"I didn't know he was getting there that early," Krivsky said. "He's views this as a great opportunity. He's been working with Jerry (Narron). Jerry's thrown him some BP."

Hamilton, the No. 1 choice overall in the 1999 draft, is seeking to come back from drug problems and injuries.

redsmetz
01-14-2007, 08:13 PM
Fay has been tooting this horn the whole off season. I continue to agree that Bailey has to be able to have some success at the AAA level before bringing him into the boiler of MLB, regardless of what John Fay says. He had a fabulous year last year and I'd like to see him continue that on his way up the ladder.

Superdude
01-14-2007, 10:53 PM
I don't see any scenario where Hamilton has an impact this year, but you can't say he isn't trying. I'm impressed.

icehole3
01-15-2007, 07:50 AM
If Bailey throws lights out in ST Castellini I think will step in and push for Bailey to come north

membengal
01-15-2007, 11:10 AM
John Fay wrote:

"If Bailey can do for the Reds in 2007 what Justin Verlander did for the Detroit Tigers in 2006, the Reds can be contenders for the postseason. Verlander, after spending most of 2005 dominating at Single-A and Double-A, went 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA for the Tigers in last season. He won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. It would be a huge leap for Bailey to do that. Verlander was 23 when the '06 season started. He pitched three years of college ball. Bailey doesn't turn 21 until May 3."

Thanks John Fay, this isn't just an apples to oranges bad comparison, it's an apples to grasshoppers comparison. Verlander had three years of experience in pro ball, not to mention the college experience, before his breakthrough last year. To expect (or even wonder if) Bailey could match that this year? Pure insanity.

I am rooting for Bailey, I think he should be up with the club, and right soon, but he won't come within 500 miles of what Verlander did last year, even if he makes the club out of camp. And he won't be a disappointment on any level if he doesn't. It's simply too soon to expect that kind of productivity from him at this level.

lollipopcurve
01-15-2007, 11:52 AM
I am rooting for Bailey, I think he should be up with the club, and right soon, but he won't come within 500 miles of what Verlander did last year, even if he makes the club out of camp. And he won't be a disappointment on any level if he doesn't. It's simply too soon to expect that kind of productivity from him at this level.

Agree 100%. Fay does analysis by soundbyte.

Team Clark
01-15-2007, 01:19 PM
Thanks John Fay, this isn't just an apples to oranges bad comparison, it's an apples to grasshoppers comparison. Verlander had three years of experience in pro ball, not to mention the college experience, before his breakthrough last year. To expect (or even wonder if) Bailey could match that this year? Pure insanity.

I am rooting for Bailey, I think he should be up with the club, and right soon, but he won't come within 500 miles of what Verlander did last year, even if he makes the club out of camp. And he won't be a disappointment on any level if he doesn't. It's simply too soon to expect that kind of productivity from him at this level.

I agree. Fay's hyperole is like saying "Gee, if only Homer Bailey can pitch like Tom Seaver... the Reds will be like the '69 Mets". Give me a break.

I'm worried about a few things. Homer pitching early in ST and having success. The fans who do not understand that Homer is facing guys that have not seen 97 MPH in several months. Homer may put up gawdy numbers his first few outings. Every msg board and talk show will go nuts over Bailey. I want to see what happens in the last 10 days of ST. Starters play longer. They have 50 AB's if not more. Hitters are settling in and getting their stroke together. 97 MPH doesn't look like 108MPH. I saw Bailey pitch to Minnesota last spring. He got lit up. Most of those guys were AAA and AA players who were spanking him. This spring can really show the progress of one young Homer Bailey. AAA until at least Aug for Bailey. He would have to show 3 DOMINANT pitches to emerge sooner.

dougdirt
01-15-2007, 01:46 PM
TC, while I agree that Bailey should be in AAA for a while (I am leaning toward at least middle-late June if he is performing well, 3.30 ERA or so) I dont think the Reds have the patience to leave him down there unless something happens with their rotation that I dont see. Someone in the rotation will be bad or will get hurt....and odds are when it happens they will call down to Louisville and say "Homer, pack your bags.....welcome to the show kid".

redsmetz
01-15-2007, 02:08 PM
TC, while I agree that Bailey should be in AAA for a while (I am leaning toward at least middle-late June if he is performing well, 3.30 ERA or so) I dont think the Reds have the patience to leave him down there unless something happens with their rotation that I dont see. Someone in the rotation will be bad or will get hurt....and odds are when it happens they will call down to Louisville and say "Homer, pack your bags.....welcome to the show kid".

I just don't see them rushing him. WK has been adamant of giving him the necessary time at each level. Regardless of how stinky we could be this year, I don't see him jumping the gun on Bailey if he's not ready.

Team Clark
01-15-2007, 02:16 PM
TC, while I agree that Bailey should be in AAA for a while (I am leaning toward at least middle-late June if he is performing well, 3.30 ERA or so) I dont think the Reds have the patience to leave him down there unless something happens with their rotation that I dont see. Someone in the rotation will be bad or will get hurt....and odds are when it happens they will call down to Louisville and say "Homer, pack your bags.....welcome to the show kid".

I certainly do not want to discount your theory. You may very well be right. I want to see the guy pitch as a Red and pitch well. I'm not getting the impression from anyone that Homer has developed a dominant second pitch or an above average third pitch that consistently can be thrown for strikes. A lot of Major Leaguers can hit 97-98 if they know it's coming....and hit it hard.

I do like what Wayne has said in the past. When he's ready to pitch in the Bigs they want him to STAY in the bigs.

reds44
01-15-2007, 03:21 PM
TC, while I agree that Bailey should be in AAA for a while (I am leaning toward at least middle-late June if he is performing well, 3.30 ERA or so) I dont think the Reds have the patience to leave him down there unless something happens with their rotation that I dont see. Someone in the rotation will be bad or will get hurt....and odds are when it happens they will call down to Louisville and say "Homer, pack your bags.....welcome to the show kid".
If there is one thing Krivsky has shown me, he has shown a great patience with Homer. I don't think he will bring him up until he really believes Homer is ready.

dougdirt
01-15-2007, 03:38 PM
I am not sure you can say he has shown great patience with Homer. He has been in control of him for 1 season and he had him pitch at 2 levels. While he porbably deserved the promotion, it didnt quite show patience as you put it.

I am with you TC....I am not so much concerned about his curve, as I think the more he throws it, the more consistant he will get with it (although if he is still tipping it, someone needs to tell him and correct that problem). The change up is something I am more worried about because by two different people they have said he is slowing down his arm speed to throw it....

bucksfan2
01-15-2007, 05:38 PM
Could Baily come up earlier if the reds are struggling with attendence?? Buisness wise if the reds struggle out of the gate they will be hurting in the attendence factor early in the season. Baily definatly could boost that in the first few games he pitches.

lorax413
01-15-2007, 11:23 PM
Bailey needs to polish his delivery out of the stretch and speed up his motion a bit. I would like to see his change-up improve before the season but his nasty combo of fastball/curveball could keep his head above water in his debut this season. If they make his promotion based on attendance then Krivsky should be shot because he is the best thing to happen to the reds in a long time and he hasnt even made it to the big show. I would probably just move north and root for the indians if the reds messed up bailey for attendance issues.

Aronchis
01-16-2007, 08:55 AM
Bailey won't even sniff the Reds to June at earliest as they won't want his arb clock to begin before.

Though it is possible the Reds don't want to see Bailey to spring training 2008.

The worse the team is, the more likely that becomes.

RedsManRick
01-16-2007, 11:30 AM
Just curious, if Bailey were to come up early (or start the season on the 25 man), and ends up throwing 130 innings of 4.80 ERA ball, is that bad or good? It seems like there is this expectation that he's going to be a top starter right of the gate. While we'd all love that to happen, what is an acceptable reality. How good does he need to be to justify a rotation spot. I get the feeling the just being better than our other #5 starter options isn't enough.

Where's that line?

bucksfan2
01-16-2007, 01:16 PM
I would assume he is going to struggle in his first season. Most rookie starters do struggle in their first half sesaon or so. I dont think he will have the success that Verlander has had. That said I would want him up in the bigs as soon as he is ready to work through his struggles against major league hitters rather than feast against AAAA players.

Highlifeman21
01-21-2007, 09:35 AM
Could Baily come up earlier if the reds are struggling with attendence?? Buisness wise if the reds struggle out of the gate they will be hurting in the attendence factor early in the season. Baily definatly could boost that in the first few games he pitches.


That has to be one of the worst ideas I've heard in awhile....

Attendance is down, so let's bring up a kid who's not ready just to put butts in seats on days he takes the mound.

What do you do the other 4 days?

Day 1 - $1 beer
Day 2 - $.10 hotdogs
Day 3 - 1/2 price tickets
Day 4 - Souvenir baseball and hat
Day 5 - Bailey pitches.

kfm
01-21-2007, 01:56 PM
I don't know if Bailey will or will not be ready, but I am sure whatever the case, Krivsky will mess it up. This organization of Krivsky and Narron does not trust young players and is willing to trade almost any minor leaguer (aka Zach Ward) or simply release a pitcher to get someone it would have been nice to have either 10 years ago (aka Mike Stanton) or never (aka Ryan Franklin). This is the least optmistic I have been as reds fan since I can remember. I would probably start Bailey at AAA unless he dominates in spring training. If he is dominant, why not start him on reds staff. Could he be any worse than what they are considering right now. I like Harang and Arroyo, the Reds will live to regret the Lohse trade, thank God this is Milton's last year and maybe Elizardo rebounds after pitching well most of the season and then tanking his last few starts.