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OnBaseMachine
04-05-2007, 08:14 PM
When a 97-mph fastball isn't quite enough
Bats want Bailey to hone raw talent
By C.L. Brown
cbrown@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

Homer Bailey, the most ballyhooed pitching prospect to come through the Cincinnati Reds organization in some time, has all the tools to become a great pitcher.

Now, Louisville Bats manager Rick Sweet said, all the 20-year-old Texan has to learn is how to pitch.

Say what?

This is the same Bailey that the Reds named their 2006 Minor League Player of the Year after he stymied hitters with stops in Single-A Sarasota and Double-A Chattanooga.

The same 6-foot-4, 205-pounder Baseball America named the Reds' top prospect for the third year in a row.

The same Bailey drafted seventh overall in the 2004 first-year player draft with a $2.3 million signing bonus -- the second largest in franchise history.

He needs to learn how to pitch?

"(Media and fans) are the only ones who blow this up," Sweet said. "You haven't heard anyone in our organization say anything other than he needs to work on his changeup or breaking ball."

Who knew?

Bailey has generated a following before his first pitch in Louisville, said Greg Galiette, the Bats' assistant general manager. Some groups have planned their outings around Bailey's appearances, he said.

"In my 23 years, I've never seen one pitcher have that kind of effect," Galiette said.

The right-hander will debut for the Bats at home Sunday against Toledo. Just keep in mind Bailey is just 20 -- the youngest player on the Bats' roster by three years.

"Everybody knows his talent level is greater than (Triple-A)," Bats third baseman Earl Snyder said. "He's a guy who, once he figures it out, and he's so close now, he's going to stick (in the big leagues), and he's going to stick for a long time."

Snyder speaks with certainty after seeing Bailey's fastball, which can reach 97 miles per hour, in his final exhibition start.

Snyder also knows Bailey comes to Louisville after mowing down Southern League opposition with a 7-1 record and a 1.59 ERA. But the International League will prove a greater challenge, Sweet said.

"He's dominated people now in A ball and last year in Double-A. He did a great job," Sweet said. "But when you start jumping Triple-A and the majors, you're jumping into men now. Now the game changes. When he makes that adjustment then he's going to be ready for the big leagues."

Many believed Bailey could make the Reds' roster in spring training, but his learning curve showed. In his first exhibition start, the Pittsburgh Pirates touched him for three runs in two innings. In his final start, the Indianapolis Indians totaled six runs on seven hits in 41/3 innings.

"I knew coming into spring training my shot was extremely slim; also to go with that, I didn't throw particularly well," Bailey said. "But the only expectations are the ones I hold for myself."

Terry Reynolds, the Reds' director of player development, was confident Bailey was headed in the right direction.

"The thing about Homer particularly is he just needs to learn to trust his stuff," Reynolds said. "It's good enough that he doesn't have to make perfect pitches every time once his secondary stuff -- changeup, curveball -- becomes more consistent, that's when the light will really come on for him."

Bailey never figured he'd be playing in front of the bright lights when he stood, tennis ball in hand, on a softball-field mound in La Grange, Texas.

After the grown-ups were done for the night, Bailey and the group of kids who tagged along with their parents took over the playing field.

"Sometimes it would just be me and my best friend," Bailey recalled. "We just threw, there was no stretching or warming up, we just played."

As Bailey began playing in leagues of his own, his father helped him hone his skills.

David Bailey pitched at the University of Houston and passed along a mental edge that Homer Bailey said he keeps no matter who he faces. It's why he says his spring-training struggles won't carry over into the season.

"I always say before every game, 'I have one thing on my mind and that's a shutout,' " Bailey said. "I'm going to give up runs, I know I am, but every batter that comes up to bat I'm thinking, 'You're going to get out.' You can't convince me otherwise."

The Reds' front office is comfortable giving Bailey all the time he needs to prepare for the big leagues. Bailey could be with the Bats for the entire year or join the major league team or get sent back down to Chattanooga, Reynolds said. The Reds were not going to rush him into big-league action, Reynolds said.

"I mean he's 20, we're not locked in to having him," Reynolds said. "We want to see him have success, whatever level that has to happen."

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070405/SPORTS07/704050538

sonny
04-06-2007, 10:48 AM
"I always say before every game, 'I have one thing on my mind and that's a shutout,' " Bailey said. "I'm going to give up runs, I know I am, but every batter that comes up to bat I'm thinking, 'You're going to get out.' You can't convince me otherwise."

Sounds like he's got what it takes between the ears

Falls City Beer
04-06-2007, 10:58 AM
Bailey's at least a season and a half from the majors?

Who knew? :)

ochoa30
04-06-2007, 11:28 AM
Bailey's at least a season and a half from the majors?

Who knew? :)

No where does it say this, it says if he needs the time they wont rush him.

GoReds
04-06-2007, 11:55 AM
Looks like Homer should be on the mound Wednesday, April 18 when the Bats visit Richmond. I'm planning to make that game and will letcha know how it goes.

Falls City Beer
04-06-2007, 12:37 PM
No where does it say this, it says if he needs the time they wont rush him.

I think the assumption by many is that Bailey would be ready by the middle of the season. I say no way.

ochoa30
04-06-2007, 02:15 PM
I think the assumption by many is that Bailey would be ready by the middle of the season. I say no way.

you may be right but he could easily be here by then if he pitches well in AAA.

Mario-Rijo
04-07-2007, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Falls City Beer
I think the assumption by many is that Bailey would be ready by the middle of the season. I say no way.

I hate to admit it, but I have to agree. Sure he could have a clue by mid-season but he won't likely have taken the rough edges off his game until probably August at the earliest. Of course there's always a chance but I just don't see him here until at least September. And that will be to just get him a little more work/feel for the majors. He's at least a year away IMO.

Degenerate39
04-07-2007, 11:27 AM
Can you imagine when he gets called up how good our starting rotation is going to be?

Harang
Arroyo
Bailey
Lohse
Belisle

Lohse and Belisle have done well in their last two starts so we've got a great rotation right there.

Falls City Beer
04-07-2007, 12:19 PM
Can you imagine when he gets called up how good our starting rotation is going to be?

Harang
Arroyo
Bailey
Lohse
Belisle

Lohse and Belisle have done well in their last two starts so we've got a great rotation right there.

I doubt Lohse will be here next year. I hope not anyway.

Degenerate39
04-07-2007, 12:37 PM
I doubt Lohse will be here next year. I hope not anyway.

I mean this year if he gets called up

OnBaseMachine
04-07-2007, 10:33 PM
Can you imagine when he gets called up how good our starting rotation is going to be?

Harang
Arroyo
Bailey
Lohse
Belisle

Lohse and Belisle have done well in their last two starts so we've got a great rotation right there.

Replace Lohse with Johnny Cueto by for the 2009 season.

Harang
Arroyo
Bailey
Cueto
Belisle

Now that is a great rotation.

Degenerate39
04-07-2007, 10:37 PM
Replace Lohse with Johnny Cueto by for the 2009 season.

Harang
Arroyo
Bailey
Cueto
Belisle

Now that is a great rotation.

That's not great its amazing

HumnHilghtFreel
04-07-2007, 10:51 PM
I think the assumption by many is that Bailey would be ready by the middle of the season. I say no way.

I don't think people have been saying that he'd be ready by then, I think that's when they WANT him to be up with the big club, ready or not. Hopefully management has the sense not to rush him.

fearofpopvol1
04-08-2007, 09:16 PM
Assuming he progresses well, I'd like to see him start up here at the beginning of next season. I think a good year in Louisville will be great for him....

Superdude
04-08-2007, 09:34 PM
every batter that comes up to bat I'm thinking, 'You're going to get out.' You can't convince me otherwise."

I like the philosophical Homer. That's an "inspirational poster" caliber quote right there.

RedsManRick
04-08-2007, 09:34 PM
Uggh. What about our 2005 rotation featuring Ty Howington and Chris Gruler along side Brandon Claussen? Paul Wilson sure panned out. Not to mention that can't miss Van Popple kid.

DTCromer
04-08-2007, 11:47 PM
That's not great its amazing

I disagree with the semantics on this one. It's great, not amazing. It appears to be amazing after having seen the likes of Milton and Ortiz in the rotation.

Degenerate39
04-09-2007, 09:35 AM
I disagree with the semantics on this one. It's great, not amazing. It appears to be amazing after having seen the likes of Milton and Ortiz in the rotation.

How is that not amazing? 3 aces in that rotation. A number 2 via Cueto and a so far decent starter in Belisle. Four guys you can depend on and Belisle can get you some wins. That's the rotation of a playoff team right there.

DTCromer
04-09-2007, 11:07 AM
How is that not amazing? 3 aces in that rotation. A number 2 via Cueto and a so far decent starter in Belisle. Four guys you can depend on and Belisle can get you some wins. That's the rotation of a playoff team right there.

Harang and Arroyo aren't aces on a lot of teams. Harang is more of a #2 and Arroyo between a 2 and 3. Bailey has the potential to be a #1, but then again, he's still learning his position. Cueto. . . that's definitely a wait and see approach. It would definitely be one of the top starting 5 in the NL, but not close to the A's "amazing" starting 5 they had with Hudson, Zito, Mulder, Harden, (and some other guy I forget) they had a few years back.

Johnny Footstool
04-09-2007, 11:26 AM
Uggh. What about our 2005 rotation featuring Ty Howington and Chris Gruler along side Brandon Claussen? Paul Wilson sure panned out. Not to mention that can't miss Van Popple kid.

Hey, now, this is *different*.

Because...um...well...(cough)...errr...uhhhh...

:laugh:

kxblue
04-09-2007, 04:52 PM
Harang and Arroyo aren't aces on a lot of teams. Harang is more of a #2 and Arroyo between a 2 and 3. Bailey has the potential to be a #1, but then again, he's still learning his position. Cueto. . . that's definitely a wait and see approach. It would definitely be one of the top starting 5 in the NL, but not close to the A's "amazing" starting 5 they had with Hudson, Zito, Mulder, Harden, (and some other guy I forget) they had a few years back.



Harang is easily the ace on most teams. He is certainly one of the top 10 pitchers in the NL, meaning he is a #1 starter. Arroyo is a good #2, and I would have a very, very difficult time (impossible) time naming 30 pitchers in the NL better than Arroyo. No way Bronson is a #3, he has to be at least a #2. And the A's starting 5 wasn't all that great, especially since Harden didn't didn't blossom till the other 3 had a foot out the door. They were good, no doubt, but a top 3 of Harang, Arroyo, and Homer (if he develops) could certainly challenge the As starting 5.

bucksfan2
04-09-2007, 05:20 PM
I see Harang as a ace, not your traditional ace, but none the less. He takes the ball every 5th day and pitches late into the game. His last outing said a lot about him. It was cold out and he didn't have his breaking stuff working but he still pitched late into the game and was the evenutal winner. He is not going to put up the lowest era but I think year in year out he will be ranked in the top few in k's and wins. As for Arroyo I see him as a #2-3 type starter, esp in the national league. He got some stuff and I think he learned how to pitch from the likes of Pedro which greatly helped him. He is similar to harang in that he will pitch late into games and will take the ball every 5th day. It may be the most undervalued 1-2 punch in the whole league.

Aronchis
04-09-2007, 06:25 PM
Harang is no ace. Literally. Don't even go there again. Harang is a bulldog plain and simple. He uses a crafty delivery and ability to pitch on a big frame which hides a general lack of stuff overall.

Ideally, somebody like Harang would be 3 on a talented rotation. But more likely a 2 on a typical one and a 1 on a crappy one(like the Reds have right now). That is why I snapped my fingers when the Tigers took Miller last year, the Reds came VERY close to getting the 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation by 2008 most teams would dream to have. Dang.

tbball10
04-09-2007, 06:53 PM
Harang is no ace. Literally. Don't even go there again. Harang is a bulldog plain and simple. He uses a crafty delivery and ability to pitch on a big frame which hides a general lack of stuff overall.

Ideally, somebody like Harang would be 3 on a talented rotation. But more likely a 2 on a typical one and a 1 on a crappy one(like the Reds have right now). That is why I snapped my fingers when the Tigers took Miller last year, the Reds came VERY close to getting the 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation by 2008 most teams would dream to have. Dang.

tied for first in the league in wins, leader in k's.... thats what we call an ace.

bucksfan2
04-10-2007, 09:43 AM
Harang is no ace. Literally. Don't even go there again. Harang is a bulldog plain and simple. He uses a crafty delivery and ability to pitch on a big frame which hides a general lack of stuff overall.

Ideally, somebody like Harang would be 3 on a talented rotation. But more likely a 2 on a typical one and a 1 on a crappy one(like the Reds have right now). That is why I snapped my fingers when the Tigers took Miller last year, the Reds came VERY close to getting the 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation by 2008 most teams would dream to have. Dang.

Maybe this attitude is why the guy gets no recognition by the national media and recieves 0 cy young votes.

T7-niner
04-10-2007, 10:00 AM
Maybe this attitude is why the guy gets no recognition by the national media and recieves 0 cy young votes.

Seriously, how does the guy not even get a 3rd place vote? Even the Cincinnati area writers passed him over....That is inexcusable.

GoReds
04-10-2007, 10:25 AM
Seriously, how does the guy not even get a 3rd place vote? Even the Cincinnati area writers passed him over....That is inexcusable.

His is not pretty, doesn't speak out, doesn't exude personality and doesn't play for the Yankees.

He's perfect for the Reds.

My only concern is, when the Reds make the playoffs, will Harang deliver an ace-worthy performance?

Johnny Footstool
04-10-2007, 11:06 AM
Harang is no ace. Literally. Don't even go there again. Harang is a bulldog plain and simple. He uses a crafty delivery and ability to pitch on a big frame which hides a general lack of stuff overall.

Ideally, somebody like Harang would be 3 on a talented rotation. But more likely a 2 on a typical one and a 1 on a crappy one(like the Reds have right now). That is why I snapped my fingers when the Tigers took Miller last year, the Reds came VERY close to getting the 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation by 2008 most teams would dream to have. Dang.

10th in MLB in K/9 means he's got "stuff", even if he doesn't throw 97mph. 11th in K/BB last season, with over 230 IP. That's an ace, no matter how you slice it.

bucksfan2
04-10-2007, 11:34 AM
His is not pretty, doesn't speak out, doesn't exude personality and doesn't play for the Yankees.

He's perfect for the Reds.

My only concern is, when the Reds make the playoffs, will Harang deliver an ace-worthy performance?

This is exactly the thing about Harang. He was not a big time prospect coming up. He didn't excel in his first few years in the bigs. He doesn't have a bit time personality. He goes about his buisness and doesn't talk much. He doesn't do anything that generates publicity besides what he does when he takes the mound. If you ask me if hes an ace I will say yea.

DTCromer
04-10-2007, 01:02 PM
Look, most teams don't have a true #1. . . including the Reds. You can put up all the stats you want on Harang, but he's not a #1 starter. He's more of a #2. Arroyo's 2nd half last year makes me want to put him as a #3. Harang gets plenty of respect from me but to say he's a #1 starter in this league is too much.

As for getting Cy Young votes. .. booo freaking hoooo. We all know how good Aaron is, but what's the big deal with receiving 0 Cy Young votes? I certainly don't care. Aaron is still going to pitch the same as he did before. Don't get all caught up in what the media does because what they vote for doesn't carry much weight with me, nor should it with anyone else.

T7-niner
04-10-2007, 01:09 PM
Look, most teams don't have a true #1. . . including the Reds.

How many teams would you say have a true #1 starter? And of those teams, how many would you say their #2 is as good or better than Harang? Just wondering...

pahster
04-10-2007, 01:37 PM
Look, most teams don't have a true #1. . . including the Reds. You can put up all the stats you want on Harang, but he's not a #1 starter. He's more of a #2. Arroyo's 2nd half last year makes me want to put him as a #3. Harang gets plenty of respect from me but to say he's a #1 starter in this league is too much.

Arroyo
1st half: ERA - 3.12, WHIP - 1.185, OPS against - .688
2nd half: ERA - 3.50, WHIP - 1.192, OPS against - .699

His first and second halves look remarkably similar to me. I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that Arroyo was #3 material in the second half. As for Harang, I can only think of a handful of NL pitchers who were better than him last year: Arroyo, Carpenter, Webb, Oswalt, Smoltz, and maybe Capuano. Thats awfully good company to be in.

redsmetz
04-10-2007, 04:29 PM
I think the assumption by many is that Bailey would be ready by the middle of the season. I say no way.

I know this is a rare event, but I completely agree with FCB. If we don't see Bailey in Cincinnati this season, it won't surprise me, nor worry me. Ripen that baby and let him be the sweet real thing when his day comes.

dougdirt
04-10-2007, 04:38 PM
I know this is a rare event, but I completely agree with FCB. If we don't see Bailey in Cincinnati this season, it won't surprise me, nor worry me. Ripen that baby and let him be the sweet real thing when his day comes.

Well here is the situation....
Given the pitchers we had at the end of last season, it surely pushed Homer Baileys ETA up....
Given the depth the Reds have at the SP standpoint now, it probably pushes his ETA back a little bit. And that is not really a bad thing.

registerthis
04-10-2007, 04:53 PM
Look, most teams don't have a true #1. . . including the Reds.

If Harang isn't an ace, then aces don't exist.