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Cyclone792
06-14-2007, 07:44 PM
With two starts and 11 major league innings under his belt, Homer Bailey has both impressed Reds fans and troubled them simultaneously. He did hold the mighty Cleveland Indians to only two runs over five innings, and during his fifth inning on Friday night he managed to escape out of a jam created by his own doing. Today against the Angels, Narron ran Bailey out there for the 7th whereupon Homer again created a jam for himself, and this time he was finally yanked mid-inning only to see the bullpen do what it does best.

Still, the troubling aspect of Homer Bailey's first 11 innings in a Reds uniform remains the same troubling aspect that has haunted him for nearly his entire professional baseball career: command and avoiding walks. Since being drafted by the Reds, and despite his electric stuff, Bailey has a history of walking batters hand over fist. Fortunately or unfortunately, Bailey's ability to develop command on the big league level and avoid the free pass may go a long way toward determining his future success in a Reds uniform on a big league mound.


Year Team Class Innings Walks BB/9

2004 GC Rookie 12.1 3 2.19
2005 Dayton Low-A 103.2 62 5.38
2006 Sarasota High-A 70.2 22 2.80
2006 Chattanooga Double-A 68.0 28 3.71
2007 Louisville Triple-A 56.2 24 3.81
2007 Cincinnati MLB 11.0 7 5.73

Career AA & Higher 135.2 59 3.91

In 2005, the main criticism with Bailey while in a Dragons uniform was the ungodly amount of walks he issued. A grand total of 62 walks in only 103.2 innings was an absurd amount, and by then it was clear that Bailey had some command issues he needed to iron out while in the Reds' system.

Last season in 2006, Bailey started in the High-A Florida State League as a member of the Sarasota Reds, and for the first time in his career he flashed some solid command as he posted a very impressive 2.80 BB/9 rate in his 70.2 innings in Sarasota. Of course, the Florida State League is arguably the best pitcher's league in all of minor league baseball, but nonetheless, Bailey's walk rates were down where they needed to be.

Then in June, 2006, Bailey was promoted to Chattanooga and into the Southern League, and it was to be his first taste of the advanced minors. Bailey impressed Reds fans all around by continuing to blow hitters away with his fastball, and some local media members such as John Fay began beating the weekly drum that Bailey should be promoted to the big club to help with the playoff push. Lost in Bailey's seemingly dominant performances, however, were command issues once again popping up. Bailey was walking more hitters in the Southern League, and his nice BB/9 rate of 2.80 in the Florida State League turned into an ugly BB/9 rate of 3.71 in Chattanooga. Like in Dayton the previous season, the free pass was starting to become a problem once again.

Fast forward to June, 2007, and after 56.2 innings in Louisville, the Reds deem Bailey ready for the major leagues. However, just like last season in Chattanooga, Bailey's walk rates were once again troublesome as he posted a 3.81 BB/9 rate in the International League. His strikeout rates were also a bit lower than previous years as his K/9 had dropped down to 8.10, but a mirage .240 BABIP helped him maintain a low ERA and a one-way ticket into the Reds rotation.

Merely 11 innings, seven walks, and two hit-batters later, questions still remain about the readiness of Homer Bailey's command and whether or not its sufficient enough to get big league hitters out on a regular basis. In the last calendar year, Bailey has pitched 135.2 innings at the Double-A level or higher all the way up to the big leagues, and he's issued 59 walks over that duration, or a BB/9 rate of 3.91. If this type of command and control is indicative of what we might see from Bailey in his early major league years, then honeymoon he'll enjoy with Reds fans may be a bit shorter than some people believe.

From 1994-2005, the Major Leagues enjoyed a resurgence of offense, power, and the base on balls. Here are the top 50 career Runs Saved Against Average (RSAA) leaders in that time period who posted BB/9 rates less than 3.75 ...


CAREER
1994-2005

WALKS/9 IP <= 3.75
GAMES STARTED >= 60
INNINGS PITCHED displayed only--not a sorting criteria
BASERUNNERS/9 IP displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RSAA RSAA BB/9 IP GS IP BR/9 IP
1 Randy Johnson 496 2.61 350 2520.1 10.11
2 Pedro Martinez 492 2.27 349 2398 9.54
3 Greg Maddux 420 1.33 395 2697.1 9.93
4 Roger Clemens 362 3.27 370 2481.2 11.26
5 Curt Schilling 292 1.85 316 2299.1 10.09
6 Kevin Brown 263 2.19 315 2147.2 10.86
7 Tom Glavine 253 3.10 395 2594.2 11.95
8 Mike Mussina 242 2.04 374 2516.2 10.84
9 John Smoltz 229 2.27 213 1706 10.18
10 Tim Hudson 188 2.81 212 1432.2 11.50
11 Andy Pettitte 177 2.79 324 2098 12.20
12 Brad Radke 149 1.62 349 2288.2 11.48
13 Mark Buehrle 138 2.06 172 1224 11.30
14 Roy Oswalt 137 2.06 145 980.2 10.95
15 David Cone 133 3.68 213 1377.2 12.20
16 Barry Zito 132 3.43 188 1209.1 11.39
17 Roy Halladay 127 2.41 159 1116.1 11.55
T18 Bartolo Colon 125 3.16 278 1819.2 11.98
T18 Johan Santana 125 2.79 108 856 10.34
20 Jamie Moyer 120 2.26 349 2287.2 11.66
21 Kenny Rogers 113 3.04 355 2294 12.90
22 Derek Lowe 111 2.65 155 1312 11.99
T23 Tim Wakefield 109 3.42 283 2071.2 12.65
T23 Kevin Appier 109 3.41 278 1733.1 12.37
25 David Wells 108 1.63 348 2332 11.49
26 Mike Hampton 96 3.54 318 2057 13.05
27 Alex Fernandez 90 2.69 153 1046 11.42
28 Matt Morris 86 2.47 206 1377.1 11.73
T29 Kevin Millwood 85 2.74 250 1559.1 11.40
T29 Freddy Garcia 85 3.03 218 1427.1 11.86
T31 Brandon Webb 81 3.58 96 617.2 12.17
T31 Mark Mulder 81 2.74 182 1208 12.02
33 Denny Neagle 77 2.68 270 1702.2 11.90
T34 Bret Saberhagen 71 1.30 111 665.1 10.92
T34 Jarrod Washburn 71 2.72 183 1153.1 11.77
36 Mark Prior 69 2.86 97 613.1 11.06
T37 Pat Hentgen 63 3.33 271 1801.1 12.73
T37 Jason Schmidt 63 3.55 272 1739.2 12.09
39 Ben McDonald 60 2.97 93 591.2 11.82
40 Jimmy Key 53 3.02 105 659.1 12.41
41 Darryl Kile 52 3.68 261 1714.2 13.17
T42 Justin Thompson 51 3.26 101 648.2 12.18
T42 Orlando Hernandez 51 3.17 158 1004.2 11.83
T42 Andy Ashby 51 2.48 248 1608.2 11.77
T42 Wade Miller 51 3.70 139 859 12.30
T42 Tomo Ohka 51 2.40 144 846 12.66
T47 Paul Byrd 50 2.35 158 1111.2 11.88
T47 Dontrelle Willis 50 2.64 93 594 11.58
T47 Ben Sheets 50 2.00 149 982.1 11.20
50 Rick Reed 49 1.62 209 1313 11.06

An impressive list with several future Hall of Famers gracing the leaders, and most guys near the top of the list carried a BB/9 rate under 3.00 itself, not just under 3.75.

Now here's the list of RSAA leaders in that time period with a BB/9 rate of 3.75 or higher ...


CAREER
1994-2005

WALKS/9 IP >= 3.75
GAMES STARTED >= 60
INNINGS PITCHED displayed only--not a sorting criteria
BASERUNNERS/9 IP displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RSAA RSAA BB/9 IP GS IP BR/9 IP
1 Al Leiter 122 4.27 347 2163.2 12.82
2 Tom Gordon 111 3.92 114 1172 12.25
3 Chuck Finley 101 3.81 272 1747.1 12.77
4 Carlos Zambrano 88 3.92 113 763 11.94
5 Wilson Alvarez 71 3.82 213 1383.1 12.55
6 Kerry Wood 67 4.37 174 1109 11.96
7 Kelvim Escobar 44 3.96 141 1117 13.00
8 Rich Harden 40 3.76 63 392.1 11.61
9 A.J. Burnett 37 3.97 131 853.2 11.88
10 Ken Hill 35 4.07 176 1100.2 13.77
11 Doug Davis 31 3.78 142 886.1 13.32
12 Miguel Batista 22 3.87 152 1173.1 13.30
13 Juan Guzman 17 4.00 156 943 13.00
T14 Dave Burba 13 3.89 216 1567 13.15
T14 Kevin Ritz 13 3.95 98 576.1 14.54
16 Jose Contreras 12 3.81 72 446 12.23
T17 Kent Bottenfield 7 3.79 87 719.2 13.37
T17 Brian Bohanon 7 3.85 125 882.1 14.13
T17 Kent Mercker 7 3.98 139 1023 13.48
20 Kip Wells 6 4.08 168 983.2 13.71
T21 Shawn Chacon 5 4.60 95 631.1 13.97
T21 Tony Armas Jr. 5 4.43 121 666.1 12.97
T23 Roger Pavlik 3 4.14 87 514.2 13.60
T23 Jorge Sosa 3 4.53 61 461.1 13.38
T23 Victor Zambrano 3 5.04 91 662 14.15
T26 Ramon Martinez 1 4.03 153 944.1 12.63
T26 Tony Saunders 1 5.31 61 345.2 14.58
T28 Ariel Prieto -2 4.50 60 352.1 15.40
T28 Jason Jennings -2 4.20 124 729 14.72
30 David Weathers -6 3.96 63 1030 13.92
31 Scott Kamieniecki -8 4.53 81 578 14.14
32 Cal Eldred -9 4.13 139 993.2 13.64
33 Oliver Perez -11 4.82 89 515.2 13.04
T34 Matt Clement -13 4.09 224 1347.1 13.02
T34 Damian Moss -13 4.85 61 361.2 13.76
36 Chan Ho Park -16 4.34 253 1610 13.23
T37 Dwight Gooden -17 4.26 114 672.1 14.30
T37 Gil Meche -17 3.99 111 628.2 13.16
39 Russ Ortiz -18 4.62 234 1456.2 13.28
40 Ron Villone -20 4.77 93 946.2 13.92
T41 Jeff Juden -21 4.16 73 510 13.36
T41 Alan Benes -21 4.01 70 494 13.24
T41 Rich Robertson -21 5.07 61 406.1 15.26
44 William Van Landingham -23 4.15 81 477.1 13.25
T45 Hideo Nomo -24 4.13 318 1972 12.32
T45 Kevin Foster -24 3.81 82 503 12.78
T47 Paul Abbott -25 4.62 97 609.1 13.41
T47 Victor Santos -25 4.33 65 423.2 14.32
T49 Darren Dreifort -26 4.01 113 872.2 12.94
T49 Tyler Green -26 4.68 66 376.2 13.88

Unlike the previous list, this league leader list leaves much to be desired. The names on this list have two key factors in common with each other: for the most part, they walked a ton of guys in their careers, and with only a few rare exceptions, they weren't overly successful in a starting rotation.

A small handful of pitchers such as Al Leiter and Chuck Finley were able to achieve both goals of staying healthy and staying effective. Other such players ... Kerry Wood, Rich Harden, and A.J. Burnett, among others, haven't been so fortunate with their health. Other hurlings on this list, such as Tom Gordon, David Weathers, and Ron Villone found some success out of bullpens, but were not able to find much success in a starting rotation. One key problem often overlooked with pitchers who have poor command is many times they throw many more pitches per inning and per outing than most other pitchers in the big leagues. As pitches pile up earlier in a game, the chances of becoming gassed in the middle innings surges up. The next thing you know it's the 5th inning and your hurler is over 100 pitches and the free passes are mounting in that game.

Of course, Homer Bailey is still 21-years-old, and that leaves room (or hope) that he can still develop his command to a high enough level where he's not walking four batters every nine innings. The next list are all single season pitching performances from 1994-2005 from pitchers under the age of 25 and with a BB/9 rate higher than 3.75, a list in which Bailey has a good chance of joining with the Reds in 2007 ...


1994-2005

AGE <= 24
WALKS/9 IP >= 3.75
GAMES STARTED >= 15
INNINGS PITCHED displayed only--not a sorting criteria
BASERUNNERS/9 IP displayed only--not a sorting criteria
AGE displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RSAA YEAR RSAA BB/9 IP GS IP BR/9 IP AGE
1 Carlos Zambrano 2003 26 3.95 32 214 12.28 22
T2 Rick Ankiel 2000 22 4.63 30 175 11.98 20
T2 Tim Hudson 1999 22 4.09 21 136.1 12.34 23
4 Freddy Garcia 1999 21 4.02 33 201.1 13.63 22
T5 Shawn Estes 1997 20 4.48 32 201 12.09 24
T5 Ryan Dempster 2000 20 3.86 33 226.1 12.41 23
7 Aaron Sele 1994 18 3.77 22 143.1 13.12 24
8 Roy Halladay 1999 17 4.76 18 149.1 14.40 22
9 Kerry Wood 2001 16 4.75 28 174.1 11.82 24
T10 Tony Saunders 1998 15 5.19 31 192.1 14.46 24
T10 Kerry Wood 1998 15 4.59 26 166.2 11.50 21
T12 Rich Harden 2004 14 3.84 31 189.2 12.10 22
T12 Tony Armas Jr. 2001 14 4.16 34 196.2 12.86 23
14 Jason Marquis 2001 13 4.11 16 129.1 12.25 22
T15 Jon Garland 2001 12 4.23 16 117 14.00 21
T15 Jason Bere 1994 12 5.08 24 141.2 12.71 23
T17 Dustin Hermanson 1997 11 3.75 28 158.1 11.43 24
T17 Scott Kazmir 2005 11 4.84 32 186 13.65 21
T17 Kris Benson 1999 11 3.80 31 196.2 12.49 24
20 Freddy Garcia 2000 8 4.63 20 124.1 12.88 23
21 Dan Reichert 2000 7 5.34 18 153.1 14.97 23
22 Shawn Chacon 2001 5 4.89 27 160 14.29 23
T23 Carlos Zambrano 2002 4 5.23 16 108.1 13.38 21
T23 Scott Elarton 2000 4 3.92 30 192.2 13.45 24
T23 Jeremi Gonzalez 1997 4 4.31 23 144 12.31 22
T23 C.C. Sabathia 2002 4 3.77 33 210 12.30 21
T27 C.C. Sabathia 2001 3 4.74 33 180.1 12.53 20
T27 A.J. Burnett 2001 3 4.31 27 173.1 12.20 24
T29 Danys Baez 2002 2 4.46 26 165.1 13.66 24
T29 Miguel Asencio 2002 2 4.67 21 123.1 14.81 21
T31 Frankie Rodriguez 1997 1 3.79 15 142.1 13.34 24
T31 Adam Eaton 2000 1 4.07 22 135 13.13 22
T33 Pat Mahomes 1994 0 4.65 21 120 13.80 23
T33 Jon Garland 2002 0 3.88 33 192.2 13.08 22
T33 Rob Bell 2000 0 4.68 26 140.1 13.08 23
36 Carlos Hernandez 2002 -1 4.95 21 111 14.27 22
T37 Matt Clement 1999 -2 4.28 31 180.2 14.20 24
T37 Brian Rose 2000 -2 3.93 24 116.2 14.43 24
T39 Daniel Cabrera 2004 -3 5.42 27 147.2 14.38 23
T39 Kip Wells 2001 -3 4.12 20 133.1 14.72 24
T39 Jaret Wright 1998 -3 4.06 32 192.2 14.25 22
T42 Joe Mays 2000 -4 3.76 28 160.1 14.71 24
T42 Jamey Wright 1998 -4 4.14 34 206.1 14.87 23
T44 Jake Peavy 2003 -5 3.79 32 194.2 12.07 22
T44 Brad Penny 2000 -5 4.51 22 119.2 13.91 22
T44 Dewon Brazelton 2004 -5 3.95 21 120.2 13.80 24
T44 Tony Armas Jr. 2002 -5 4.27 29 164.1 12.82 24
T48 Ryan Dempster 1999 -6 5.69 25 147 15.00 22
T48 Joaquin Benoit 2003 -6 4.37 17 105 13.11 23
T48 Rocky Coppinger 1996 -6 4.32 22 125 13.54 22
T48 Jim Parque 1998 -6 3.90 21 113 15.13 23
T48 Jason Jennings 2003 -6 4.37 32 181.1 15.14 24

There's some notable names on that list, and there's also some serious duds on that list. Reds fans, I'm sure, have fond memories of hurlers such as Ryan Dempster, Dustin Hermanson, Jason Bere, Rob Bell, and Joe Mays.

Anyhow, I do want to select some key hurlers on that list who have since developed into bonafide top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers at least for a few seasons thus far in their career and who have shown an ability to actually stay healthy and remain in a rotation for significant periods of time ...

Carlos Zambrano
Tim Hudson
Freddy Garcia
Roy Halladay
C.C. Sabathia
Jake Peavy

Each of those pitchers had one or more seasons on the above list with a BB/9 ratio of 3.75 or higher. What have they done since having not-so-stellar command? Let's take a peek ...


Player Innings Walks BB/9
Zambrano 2002 108.1 63 5.23
Zambrano 2003 214.0 94 3.95

Zambrano Career 1065.1 485 4.10


Player Innings Walks BB/9
Hudson 1999 136.1 62 4.09

Hudson Career 1743.1 550 2.84


Player Innings Walks BB/9
Garcia 2000 201.1 90 4.02

Garcia Career 1701.2 548 2.90


Player Innings Walks BB/9
Halladay 1999 149.1 79 4.76

Halladay Career 1411.1 346 2.21


Player Innings Walks BB/9
Sabathia 2001 180.1 95 4.74
Sabathia 2002 210.0 88 3.77

Sabathia Career 1264.1 442 3.15


Player Innings Walks BB/9
Peavy 2003 194.2 82 3.79

Peavy Career 958.0 307 2.88

The good news? Five of those six pitchers (everyone except for Zambrano) significantly improved their walk rates with more big league innings.

The bad news? It's two-fold. First, those five pitchers are among the only guys on that list who managed to develop into top-of-the-rotation starting pitchers, or essentially the type of starting pitcher Reds fans hope Bailey can develop into. Secondly, those five pitchers did not develop into those top-of-the-rotation caliber starters until they harnessed their command and cut down on their walks. Tim Hudson, Freddy Garcia, Roy Halladay, and Jake Peavy all cut their walk rates drastically and now have career walk rates under 3.00. C.C. Sabathia also hasn't done a bad job, as his career walk rate is down to 3.15, and in 2007 Sabathia's walk rate is an astonishing 1.36 (15 walks in 99 innings).

Only Carlos Zambrano has managed to remain healthy, remain in the rotation, and maintain being an ace caliber starting pitcher with an awful walk rate. There's more than 40 pitchers on that list above of guys under 25 with a walk rate over 3.75 in a single season, and Zambrano is the only guy to be in a rotation, healthy, and dominant while allowing such an extremely high number of free passes.

Where does the road lead for one Homer Bailey? Time will tell, but if past history is any indication, then Reds fans better hope and pray that the road leads to better command and far fewer walks than his professional history has shown thus far. Some Reds fans believe that Bailey will be the savior, and others believe he can one day develop into the staff ace that the Reds have long desired.

Perhaps Bailey will accomplish one or both of those, but one thing I do know is saviors and staff aces very rarely post BB/9 rates up near the 4 mark. The Al Leiters, Chuck Finleys and Carlos Zambranos of the world are very few and far between. Those types of pitchers don't come around often, because oftentimes they don't find success. If Homer Bailey is to be the pitcher many Reds fans hope he can be, then a significant improvement in overall command and a drastic cut in his walk rate is an absolute must.

If Bailey can harness his command and cut down on those walks, he very well could be The Next Big Thing ... or at least, he has a reasonable shot at achieving that goal if he can remain healthy.

However, and Reds fans won't like this one bit, if Bailey's command and walk rates show little or no improvement as his big league career unfolds, then the chances are extremely high that Reds fans around the world will ultimately be disappointed in his performance as a Red.

dougdirt
06-14-2007, 07:53 PM
Today he should have had 1 walk in 6 innings. Simple as that. Way too early to go past that.

Patrick Bateman
06-14-2007, 08:00 PM
Today he should have had 1 walk in 6 innings. Simple as that. Way too early to go past that.

Well Bailey has been throwing 100 pitches in the minors, so he is used to that kind of workload. Because of that, I do put partial blame on him for those 2 walks. He should have been able to throw some kind of strikes even if he shouldn't have been in the 7th. Knowing his command problems throughout his pro career, the walks in the 7th were bound to happen at some point, it's not like he has been stingy on the walks. IMO, those 2 walks had more to do with command issues than fatigue.

membengal
06-14-2007, 08:12 PM
Just to clarify, cyclone, those five you mentioned harnessed their command while working it out AT the big league level, correct?

No one who has been calling for Bailey to come up that I know of thinks that his current walk rate is ideal. For my part, I think he can continue to work on it in the bigs. Your research provides me some comfort there.

He IS just 21, right? So, room to get better, no?

I just don't understand the hand-wringing (in the game thread and other threads) off of two straight starts that have largely, frankly, been a success given his tender years and the nastiness of the competition...

jojo
06-14-2007, 08:33 PM
command is important....who knew? :D

Perhaps the uninitiated expect Homer to be an all-star in '07 but I think the majority opinion on the zone was that he'll be a work in progress at the major league level. While he's already got the best stuff of the guys on the Reds' 25 man roster, I don't expect him to be special until '09. If he's still struggling with command then, I'll start worrying. Right now, I'm just in the work hard but please don't hurt your shoulder mode.

cincyinco
06-14-2007, 08:36 PM
halladay was sent all the way back to a ball after getting shelled to work on both his mechanics & command

Cyclone792
06-14-2007, 08:38 PM
Just to clarify, cyclone, those five you mentioned harnessed their command while working it out AT the big league level, correct?

No one who has been calling for Bailey to come up that I know of thinks that his current walk rate is ideal. For my part, I think he can continue to work on it in the bigs. Your research provides me some comfort there.

He IS just 21, right? So, room to get better, no?

I just don't understand the hand-wringing (in the game thread and other threads) off of two straight starts that have largely, frankly, been a success given his tender years and the nastiness of the competition...

The answer to your initial question is yes and no, depending on the specific pitcher. Here's their minor league walk rates ...

Halladay: 2.95
Peavy: 3.18
Garcia: 3.24
Zambrano: 4.25
Hudson: 4.32
Sabathia: 4.35

Halladay, Peavy, and Garcia all posted pretty nice walk rates in the minors so their command improvement in the majors wasn't at all unexpected. On the other hand, Zambrano, Hudson, and Sabathia didn't have good command in the minors. Hudson and Sabathia have vastly improved their control in the majors compared to what they did in the minors, but Zambrano's still walking loads of guys.

Of course there's plenty of room for Bailey's command to get better given his age, though at the same time there's no guarantee that it will get better (I'm not saying he will or he won't improve his command ... my honest take right now is probably ... I have no idea).

The premise of my post is rather simple, which is for Homer Bailey to be the pitcher Reds fans are pretty much expecting, he has to greatly improve his command and walk rates. If he's able to accomplish this, then he'll give himself a pretty good chance to be that stud arm. If he can't accomplish that, then his chances of becoming that stud arm are pretty lousy.

If someone is wanting to look for areas to keep an eye on for Bailey's improvement, then watch his command. It will ultimately be his command that will determine what type of force he becomes on the mound for the Reds, and that's the area that needs by far the biggest gains.

In the meantime, Jerry Narron or whoever the Reds manager is needs to do everything possible to keep Bailey's arm in one piece.

Falls City Beer
06-14-2007, 08:45 PM
command is important....who knew? :D.

Not Wayne Krivsky. If it takes Homer two seasons of on-the-job-training at MLB to get it right, then count me flummoxed at the decision to bring him up now.

Caveat Emperor
06-14-2007, 08:59 PM
Not Wayne Krivsky. If it takes Homer two seasons of on-the-job-training at MLB to get it right, then count me flummoxed at the decision to bring him up now.

Though, count me as flummoxed merely because it wasted 2 cheap years pre-arb.

As long as they don't cheap out and not pay him when he hits arb/FA (if he does become a successful major leaguer), I'm not certain I'll be all that mad. I can't get too fired up about a multi-millionaire owner being out some extra cash.

smith288
06-14-2007, 09:03 PM
Raise your hand if you read the whole post...

jojo
06-14-2007, 09:06 PM
Not Wayne Krivsky. If it takes Homer two seasons of on-the-job-training at MLB to get it right, then count me flummoxed at the decision to bring him up now.

You're flummoxed at every decision. :cool:

Picture two years of the young Seattle version of Gil Meche...two years of something around league average with upside is more useful than it would be flummoxating.... I wouldn't have brought Homer up when the Reds did but he's here now and I think people on both sides of the fence have a case to be made about the call up. Cyclone's post points out the one thing that's not arguable-while Homer's ceiling is high, command will determine the extent to which he reaches it (much like Meche minus the shoulder issue).

jojo
06-14-2007, 09:09 PM
Raise your hand if you read the whole post...

:wave:

even the :fineprint:

and this is all I have to say- :clap:

Falls City Beer
06-14-2007, 09:09 PM
You're flummoxed at every decision. :cool:

Picture two years of the Seattle version of Gil Meche...two years of something around league average with upside is more useful than it would be flummoxating.... I wouldn't have brought Homer up when the Reds did but he's here now and I think people on both sides of the fence have a case to be made about the call up. Cyclone's post points out the one thing that's not arguable-while Homer's ceiling is high, command will determine the extent to which he reaches it (much like Meche minus the shoulder issue).

If you're talking about two years of league average, fine. But I'm talking about two years of locating his secondary pitches, two years of getting killed because the only thing he knows how to throw is his fastball.

It's time to let Homer do what he should be allowed to do at AAA--get an arsenal to bring to the major leagues. Because right now he's short that arsenal.

westofyou
06-14-2007, 09:34 PM
Homer Bailey is the the 21st century Jim Maloney

71 starts by age 24


TEAM HR H/9 BR/9 SO/9 BB/9 SO/BB
TOTALS 49 7.21 11.70 8.16 4.29 1.90

Career

TEAM HR H/9 BR/9 SO/9 BB/9 SO/BB
TOTALS 138 7.39 11.51 7.81 3.94 1.98

Highlifeman21
06-14-2007, 10:05 PM
Raise your hand if you read the whole post...

Raising hand.

Up to your post, of course.

Highlifeman21
06-14-2007, 10:09 PM
If you're talking about two years of league average, fine. But I'm talking about two years of locating his secondary pitches, two years of getting killed because the only thing he knows how to throw is his fastball.

It's time to let Homer do what he should be allowed to do at AAA--get an arsenal to bring to the major leagues. Because right now he's short that arsenal.

The kid knows how to throw his fastball, that's for sure.

As for locating his curve and his change?

Well...





He should have spent the rest of the year in AAA working on those 2 pitches. Unfortunately, he's now 2 starts deep into his MLB career.


2 MLB starts cannot be undone. Might as well leave him up here to let him learn on the job, and hopefully not ruin his arm in the process. That's right Jerry Narron, I'm talkin to you.

Let's not have the kid consistently break the wrong side of that 105 pitch mark, k?

OldRightHander
06-14-2007, 10:12 PM
Raise your hand if you read the whole post...

:wave: As well as it was written, how could I not.

KronoRed
06-14-2007, 10:28 PM
Raise your hand if you read the whole post...

:wave:

Awesome post it was.

RedEye
06-14-2007, 11:16 PM
Fantastic post, Cyclone. I learned a lot.

Superdude
06-15-2007, 01:01 AM
:wave:

I was excited to see him come up, and don't get me wrong, I still love my "Got Homer" T-Shirt, but it's definitely looking like Bailey was called up way before he needed to be.

Cyclone792
06-15-2007, 01:46 AM
If you're talking about two years of league average, fine. But I'm talking about two years of locating his secondary pitches, two years of getting killed because the only thing he knows how to throw is his fastball.

It's time to let Homer do what he should be allowed to do at AAA--get an arsenal to bring to the major leagues. Because right now he's short that arsenal.

From everything I've read and seen, I'm not sure Bailey's secondary pitches are ready either. Bailey received praise for his efforts against the Indians in his debut, but Cleveland pretty much did what they wanted to do. They worked the count, they drew their walks, they got loads of baserunners, they drove Bailey's pitch count up, and they got him out of the game after only five innings. Bailey did hold them to two runs during those five innings, but people can't lose sight of the fact that if he continually gives up that many baserunners, then the results won't be pretty.

Also, as we all know, major league teams have rather extensive scouting reports on the opposition, and if a guy like Bailey just doesn't have major league caliber secondary pitches yet, we'll likely start seeing the ramifications of those shortcomings. He has to start getting his secondary pitches over for strikes, and those secondary pitches have to be a high enough quality where they don't get mashed.

traderumor
06-15-2007, 09:22 AM
From everything I've read and seen, I'm not sure Bailey's secondary pitches are ready either. Bailey received praise for his efforts against the Indians in his debut, but Cleveland pretty much did what they wanted to do. They worked the count, they drew their walks, they got loads of baserunners, they drove Bailey's pitch count up, and they got him out of the game after only five innings. Bailey did hold them to two runs during those five innings, but people can't lose sight of the fact that if he continually gives up that many baserunners, then the results won't be pretty.

Also, as we all know, major league teams have rather extensive scouting reports on the opposition, and if a guy like Bailey just doesn't have major league caliber secondary pitches yet, we'll likely start seeing the ramifications of those shortcomings. He has to start getting his secondary pitches over for strikes, and those secondary pitches have to be a high enough quality where they don't get mashed.

Yesterday, according to Brantley, he threw several good change ups. His curve looks like it needs work, or he simply needs to resign to Ben Sheets curveball method--throw it in the dirt 3 out of 4 times and watch the undisciplined hack away at it.

As for the Indians, that is what they do to vet major league pitchers, they have an offensive philosophy like the v.2004-2005 Reds.

westofyou
06-15-2007, 09:25 AM
Yesterday, according to Brantley, he threw several good change ups. His curve looks like it needs work, or he simply needs to resign to Ben Sheets curveball method--throw it in the dirt 3 out of 4 times and watch the undisciplined hack away at it.

As for the Indians, that is what they do to vet major league pitchers, they have an offensive philosophy like the v.2004-2005 Reds.

He looked good yesterday, change up and all... after the 2nd and before the 7th that is.

Sea Ray
06-15-2007, 09:32 AM
Young power pitchers always struggle with control. He's 21. That's the way it is.

Redsland
06-15-2007, 10:57 AM
Raise your hand if you read the whole post...
:wave:

Falls City Beer
06-15-2007, 12:08 PM
He looked good yesterday, change up and all... after the 2nd and before the 7th that is.

I guess. Looked like the hackin' Angels were aiding and abetting to me. And yes I got to watch yesterday's game.

I thought he looked incredibly so-so. And had no business going out for the 7th.

GAC
06-15-2007, 12:42 PM
I think he'll be OK. Two starts really tells us nothing IMO since he is still trying to get acclimated to the majors. He had to be a bundle of nerves in his debut with all the hype that went into his being called up. I would just have him on a strict pitch count to protect that arm.

But if this bullpen keeps screwing our SP's over, then Homer may want to be sent back down to AAA. ;)

Welcome to the Bigs kid! :mooner:

westofyou
06-15-2007, 12:52 PM
I thought he looked incredibly so-so. And had no business going out for the 7th. He's 21 years old, that in itself makes so-so a damn good start. 21 year old starters are pretty rare.

7th inning? He should have been watching, for sure.

traderumor
06-15-2007, 12:55 PM
He's 21 years old, that in itself makes so-so a damn good start. 21 year old starters are pretty rare.

7th inning? He should have been watching, for sure.

At least a short leash, like after the 1st walk. But the 7th was certainly a stretch. Narron seems to have no touch at all when it comes to taking a guy out. He only seems to when it is obvious and the pitcher makes his mind up for him, which is no decision at all. At this point, I imagine he would have had a tough time managing the 1990 staff.

pedro
06-15-2007, 12:58 PM
There's no question in my mind that Bailey is good enough to pitch on this staff right now but I am concerned about his his almost complete inability to throw his curve so far. I'm just not convinced he's going to be able to refine that pitch in the majors and that he'll then over rely on his fastball thus stunting his long term development.

coachw513
06-15-2007, 01:15 PM
Cyclone, excellent research and post...

As opposed to being concerned because of some of the dregs in the list of first year starters that had the higher BB rates, I take solace about the likes of Peavy, Sabathia, et al that are on the list...reason is that clearly Bailey isn't a fringe, marginal talent...he's got a big-time arm and a big-time attitude (said as a positive...he's got unshakeable nerve, confidence and cajones from early results IMHO)...take that talent, and the fact your research shows GREAT pitchers can take a leap in the majors from their entry point to their maturity with command and I'm encouraged...

OTOH, I'm not encouraged about Narron's inability to use him without unnecessary stress and abuse...I'm sure I'm myopic and short-sighted but how hard was the decision yesterday...he's been rolling, relatively low pitch count...okay he goes out there in the 7th, and the FIRST sign of difficulty with let him turn it over to our top-notch pen :D...5 days after a stressful 114 pitches isn't the time to see "can he get out of it" AGAIN...after the first walk when it was apparent Bailey had lost focus/command/stuff, simply walk out of the dugout, pat the young fella on the rump...

And then ask Moeller to b****-slap you if you even consider putting Majewski in the game :eek:

D-Man
06-15-2007, 02:56 PM
Good stuff, Cyclone.

One thing to add: Bailey's control struggles this year have been almost exclusively against lefties. That doesn't surprise me because the quality of lefty hitters is substantially better in AAA and in the majors than it is at lower levels. Take a look. . .

His BB/K ratio in AAA was 5.13/6.84 against lefties, and 2.67/9.20 against righties. Likewise, at the MLB level all seven of his unintentional walks have come against lefties. In contrast, his OPS against righties is .446 in the majors, and his success against righties has remained fairly constant throughout his professional career. So we are talking about some fairly dramatic split differentials this year, which suggests there is quite a bit of work to be done on some aspect of his game.

I don't know if these dramatic splits are good news, bad news, or a little mix of both. I suppose it could be explained in several ways:

1.) He lacks an out pitch against lefties (really bad news)
2.) He has identified a consistent out pitch against righties (very good news)
3.) He hasn't faced many upper-level lefties (neither good nor bad news, he just needs more experience)
4.) He circle change hasn't kept lefties on their toes (bad news)
5.) His approach against lefties, i.e., start with high heat then have them chase breaking balls in the dirt, needs to be modified (moderately good news because modifying his approach is fairly easy to fix)

Nevertheless, these splits suggest he should be used as a bullpen arm against righties because it would have simplified his approach, shortened his adjustment to the bigs, provided a reasonable chance of success, and provided him free time to devote to this LHB issue.

Anyway, this trend is something worth tracking in the future.

Bailey's 2007 minor league splits:
http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl=456701&tm=LouIL&bp=p

Bailey's early MLB splits:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=baileho02

jojo
06-15-2007, 03:18 PM
Good stuff, Cyclone.

One thing to add: Bailey's control struggles this year have been almost exclusively against lefties. That doesn't surprise me because the quality of lefty hitters is substantially better in AAA and in the majors than it is at lower levels. Take a look. . .

His BB/K ratio in AAA was 5.13/6.84 against lefties, and 2.67/9.20 against righties. Likewise, at the MLB level all seven of his unintentional walks have come against lefties. In contrast, his OPS against righties is .446 in the majors, and his success against righties has remained fairly constant throughout his professional career. So we are talking about some fairly dramatic split differentials this year, which suggests there is quite a bit of work to be done on some aspect of his game.

I don't know if these dramatic splits are good news, bad news, or a little mix of both. I suppose it could be explained in several ways:

1.) He lacks an out pitch against lefties (really bad news)
2.) He has identified a consistent out pitch against righties (very good news)
3.) He hasn't faced many upper-level lefties (neither good nor bad news, he just needs more experience)
4.) He circle change hasn't kept lefties on their toes (bad news)
5.) His approach against lefties, i.e., start with high heat then have them chase breaking balls in the dirt, needs to be modified (moderately good news because modifying his approach is fairly easy to fix)

Nevertheless, these splits suggest he should be used as a bullpen arm against righties because it would have simplified his approach, shortened his adjustment to the bigs, provided a reasonable chance of success, and provided him free time to devote to this LHB issue.

Anyway, this trend is something worth tracking in the future.

Bailey's 2007 minor league splits:
http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl=456701&tm=LouIL&bp=p

Bailey's early MLB splits:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=baileho02


That deserves a :wave: too...


:)

Falls City Beer
06-15-2007, 03:21 PM
Good stuff, Cyclone.

One thing to add: Bailey's control struggles this year have been almost exclusively against lefties. That doesn't surprise me because the quality of lefty hitters is substantially better in AAA and in the majors than it is at lower levels. Take a look. . .

His BB/K ratio in AAA was 5.13/6.84 against lefties, and 2.67/9.20 against righties. Likewise, at the MLB level all seven of his unintentional walks have come against lefties. In contrast, his OPS against righties is .446 in the majors, and his success against righties has remained fairly constant throughout his professional career. So we are talking about some fairly dramatic split differentials this year, which suggests there is quite a bit of work to be done on some aspect of his game.

I don't know if these dramatic splits are good news, bad news, or a little mix of both. I suppose it could be explained in several ways:

1.) He lacks an out pitch against lefties (really bad news)
2.) He has identified a consistent out pitch against righties (very good news)
3.) He hasn't faced many upper-level lefties (neither good nor bad news, he just needs more experience)
4.) He circle change hasn't kept lefties on their toes (bad news)
5.) His approach against lefties, i.e., start with high heat then have them chase breaking balls in the dirt, needs to be modified (moderately good news because modifying his approach is fairly easy to fix)

Nevertheless, these splits suggest he should be used as a bullpen arm against righties because it would have simplified his approach, shortened his adjustment to the bigs, provided a reasonable chance of success, and provided him free time to devote to this LHB issue.

Anyway, this trend is something worth tracking in the future.

Bailey's 2007 minor league splits:
http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl=456701&tm=LouIL&bp=p

Bailey's early MLB splits:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=baileho02

I completely agree with your diagnosis as well as your prescription for Mr. Bailey. If he must be up in the majors, he should be coming out of the pen.

Cyclone792
06-15-2007, 03:36 PM
Great catch, D-Man, and I agree with your suggestion that Bailey should be used out of the bullpen for the time being rather than being in the rotation, especially with these current stat splits. What's even more interesting is just about every ounce of Bailey's BABIP luck down in Louisville came against lefties (.296 BABIP vs. righties compared to .174 BABIP against lefties).

I was actually originally thinking Bailey may have a good shot to piece together a very nice start in Oakland next week since he'd be in a pitcher's park against a not-so-great offense, but now I'm not so sure. He will have to deal with the DH rather than having a reprieve with the pitcher, the A's do take a ton of walks, and the A's could be running Swisher, Chavez, Buck, Cust, and Johnson at him ... all of whom will be batting left-handed against Bailey.

I don't even want to think about what could happen to Bailey in Philadelphia against the Phillies two starts from now.

IslandRed
06-15-2007, 05:44 PM
Nevertheless, these splits suggest he should be used as a bullpen arm against righties because it would have simplified his approach, shortened his adjustment to the bigs, provided a reasonable chance of success, and provided him free time to devote to this LHB issue.

I'm not sure I agree with that. You don't learn how to do something by not doing it. Turning a guy into a platoon player or a LOOGY/ROOGY -- even in the short term -- is an attempt to maximize strength and avoid weakness, but it's not done with the expectation that it will fix the weakness, it's a surrender to the guy's limitations. Maybe if the clearly-identified reason (out of the list you presented) was something that didn't require pitching to actual hitters, I could see it.

Surprising though it may be for this typically glass-half-full guy, I've written off 2007; Bailey may be more help to this year's Reds as a bullpen guy but I really don't give a rip. If he's here and he's going to stay, there's one good reason for that -- so he can be ready to help the team win from 2008 forward. And that means working on his weaknesses, like offspeed pitches and getting out lefties, even in game situations. Especially in game situations, maybe.

Falls City Beer
06-15-2007, 06:16 PM
I'm not sure I agree with that. You don't learn how to do something by not doing it. Turning a guy into a platoon player or a LOOGY/ROOGY -- even in the short term -- is an attempt to maximize strength and avoid weakness, but it's not done with the expectation that it will fix the weakness, it's a surrender to the guy's limitations. Maybe if the clearly-identified reason (out of the list you presented) was something that didn't require pitching to actual hitters, I could see it.

Surprising though it may be for this typically glass-half-full guy, I've written off 2007; Bailey may be more help to this year's Reds as a bullpen guy but I really don't give a rip. If he's here and he's going to stay, there's one good reason for that -- so he can be ready to help the team win from 2008 forward. And that means working on his weaknesses, like offspeed pitches and getting out lefties, even in game situations. Especially in game situations, maybe.

Maybe slowly but surely he'd be allowed to start facing limited numbers of lefty hitters coming out of the pen.

I'm just not sure what the benefit is of Bailey exiting in the 3rd/4th innings; I think his ego counts for something, and I'd not like to see him take regular beatings. If for no other reason than to avoid Bailey seeing his name etched in the press alongside other notorious failures of the Krivsky regime (Maj, Bray, Stanton, Cormier). The local media have a tendency to lump things together and exacerbate current problems by swaying public opinion against players (cf. Marty B.). I think that if they're not going to trade Bailey, they need to baby him big-time.

IslandRed
06-15-2007, 06:56 PM
Maybe slowly but surely he'd be allowed to start facing limited numbers of lefty hitters coming out of the pen.

I'm just not sure what the benefit is of Bailey exiting in the 3rd/4th innings; I think his ego counts for something, and I'd not like to see him take regular beatings. ... I think that if they're not going to trade Bailey, they need to baby him big-time.

I'm OK with protecting him in the sense of managing his workload, not letting him take one for the team, etc. -- common sense stuff. But I don't see much difference between saying "you're not very good against lefties, so let's hide you from lefties" to saying "you can't get anyone out with the curveball, so don't throw curveballs." If he can't be trusted to do anything other than what he does best, then the folks who said he shouldn't be here yet were right. I don't think that's the case. Just my opinion, of course.

Falls City Beer
06-15-2007, 07:00 PM
I'm OK with protecting him in the sense of managing his workload, not letting him take one for the team, etc. -- common sense stuff. But I don't see much difference between saying "you're not very good against lefties, so let's hide you from lefties" to saying "you can't get anyone out with the curveball, so don't throw curveballs." If he can't be trusted to do anything other than what he does best, then the folks who said he shouldn't be here yet were right. I don't think that's the case. Just my opinion, of course.

Yeah, I would definitely fall into the camp of those who say he's not ready. I think the majors is the place to learn about how different hitters are from the ones in AAA, not to "learn how to throw certain pitches," necessarily. If he'd come up to the majors with a fully mastered complement of pitches, I'd say, yeah, go ahead and take your lumps; but he doesn't even have one secondary pitch that he can go to with any kind of confidence. He needs to keep at it in Louisville, IMO.

IslandRed
06-15-2007, 07:58 PM
Yeah, I would definitely fall into the camp of those who say he's not ready. I think the majors is the place to learn about how different hitters are from the ones in AAA, not to "learn how to throw certain pitches," necessarily. If he'd come up to the majors with a fully mastered complement of pitches, I'd say, yeah, go ahead and take your lumps; but he doesn't even have one secondary pitch that he can go to with any kind of confidence. He needs to keep at it in Louisville, IMO.

That's a fair argument. Bailey's not ready to excel. I do think he's ready to stick. If I didn't -- if I thought that regular slaughterings was the probable outcome of his near future; not the occasional bad day, but just being a bad pitcher -- then I wouldn't want him here.

Aronchis
06-15-2007, 09:44 PM
Bailey's inconsistancy with his curveball has been his bugaboo for his entire pro-career. If he could throw it like he shows every now and then, we would be looking at plenty of K's. He got by on just pure stuff in the minors. Considering how poorly he commands his breaking ball, it is amazing he struckout as many as he did. When you looked at pitchers like Peavy when they were coming up, or Gallardo now, they just mow down hitters with their breaking pitch.

Yet when Verlander came out of college, he didn't have a overly good curveball either and even at 23, he didn't strikeout many batters during the first half of the year. When I look at his breaking pitch now, it has drastically improved. I suspect Mr. Bailey will have that same development if the Reds don't grind him into the ground.

I suspect the Reds feel he can be competitive and develope quicker by the time he is 23 by facing major league hitters. We will see if they are right.

Redsland
06-16-2007, 12:12 PM
Yeah, I would definitely fall into the camp of those who say he's not ready. I think the majors is the place to learn about how different hitters are from the ones in AAA, not to "learn how to throw certain pitches," necessarily.
I agree. Not only that, but he struggles with other parts of his game, too. Like holding runners.

In his debut, he failed to so much as look at a baserunner, as far as I could tell. In his second start, the press finally noticed this after he gave up that walking steal of third. Yeah, the pickoff was nice, but I guarantee you the reason the runner was so far off the bag was because Homer had been completely ignoring runners up to that point. I wouldn't be surprised if the catcher had given him a throwover sign after seeing the runner's lead.

So it isn't just his secondary pitches. Homer has more than just those to work on.

traderumor
06-16-2007, 12:13 PM
Watching the pregame last Friday, Homer showed his grips, which both his changeup and curve grip seem unorthodox, especially the curve. If anyone saw this or knows exactly what he throws, is he technically throwing a knuckle curve? And if so, perhaps therein might be a source of inconsistency, as the grip looked complex, and by nature, attributing to inconsistency. In other words, this grip might make for a tough pitch to hit, but it also seems to be a grip that makes it tough to control.

Redsland
06-16-2007, 12:30 PM
I didn't see that segment, but I have noticed his grips in a few still photos. He appears to throw a knuckle-curve and a circle change.

dougdirt
06-16-2007, 12:40 PM
I am not overly worried about Bailey against lefties. Last season in AA he struck out more lefties than righties (proportionally that is) by nearly a full batter per 9 innings. He also struck out a lot more lefties in Dayton than he did righties. As far as looking at his splits in the Majors.... he has 11 innings, I think it is a completely moot point to take hardly anything from them.

Trade rumor, Bailey throws his curveball with what appears to be a knuckle curve grip, ala Mike Mussina, but it is not a knuckle curve. I talked to a pitcher who is currently on the DL in the majors about it before and he said that the grip just helps Bailey get the correct spin on the ball to get the 12-6 break on it and that is isnt technically a knuckle curve.

D-Man
06-16-2007, 07:15 PM
I'm not sure I agree with that. You don't learn how to do something by not doing it. Turning a guy into a platoon player or a LOOGY/ROOGY -- even in the short term -- is an attempt to maximize strength and avoid weakness, but it's not done with the expectation that it will fix the weakness, it's a surrender to the guy's limitations. Maybe if the clearly-identified reason (out of the list you presented) was something that didn't require pitching to actual hitters, I could see it.

Surprising though it may be for this typically glass-half-full guy, I've written off 2007; Bailey may be more help to this year's Reds as a bullpen guy but I really don't give a rip. If he's here and he's going to stay, there's one good reason for that -- so he can be ready to help the team win from 2008 forward. And that means working on his weaknesses, like offspeed pitches and getting out lefties, even in game situations. Especially in game situations, maybe.

By my count, here is what Bailey is having to learn on the job in the bigs:

1.) Figuring how to get out a whole new batch of hitters
2.) Improving his game against lefties
3.) Adjusting to a new home ballpark
4.) Holding runners (thanks, Redsland)
5.) Stretching himself out in big league games
6.) Knowing how to make outs the second or third time through a lineup

Putting him in the bullpen would have taken #4 and #5 off the table and would have given him more time to focus on the really big adjustments, namely, #1 and #2 above. If someone could have simplified my life by a third when I was 21, I would have been far, far more successful in my 20s--both in my first job and beyond. That is the most compelling reason for a bullpen job--it gives him more time to focus on those elements of his game that most need his attention.

It may or may not make sense to use Bailey as a ROOGY, depending on the likely root cause of his issues against lefties. If the issue is that he lacks an out pitch against lefties (seems very likely to me, given his splits), then the Reds should have him working on the side against lefties every day and gently ease him into facing more lefties in game situations. The Reds should have him focus on one or two things first; as he demonstrates mastery of these issues, the club should incrementally add another issue for him to work on on. Given Bailey's importance to the future of the franchise, this approach strikes me as far more sensible than throwing him in the deep end of the pool and seeing if he can swim (which is essentially what they have done with him).

Cyclone: if you have the lefty/righty splits for the pitchers on your list, that would be interesting to see. Do these young pitchers struggling with control issues have similar splits? I would appreciate you sharing, if you have that information readily available in your database.

Dougdirt: Hopefully you are correct--that his struggles against lefties is a short-term issue only. Although I suspect that it isn't the case. Young pitchers' weaknesses are exposed more and more as the players move up the ladder. The quality lefties just aren't as prevalent in A or AA as they are in AAA and the bigs. I put far more stock in his performance against the latter.

jojo
06-16-2007, 07:28 PM
By my count, here is what Bailey is having to learn on the job in the bigs:

1.) Figuring how to get out a whole new batch of hitters
2.) Improving his game against lefties
3.) Adjusting to a new home ballpark
4.) Holding runners (thanks, Redsland)
5.) Stretching himself out in big league games
6.) Knowing how to make outs the second or third time through a lineup

Putting him in the bullpen would have taken #4 and #5 off the table and would have given him more time to focus on the really big adjustments, namely, #1 and #2 above. If someone could have simplified my life by a third when I was 21, I would have been far, far more successful in my 20s--both in my first job and beyond. That is the most compelling reason for a bullpen job--it gives him more time to focus on those elements of his game that most need his attention.

It may or may not make sense to use Bailey as a ROOGY, depending on the likely root cause of his issues against lefties. If the issue is that he lacks an out pitch against lefties (seems very likely to me, given his splits), then the Reds should have him working on the side against lefties every day and gently ease him into facing more lefties in game situations. The Reds should have him focus on one or two things first; as he demonstrates mastery of these issues, the club should incrementally add another issue for him to work on on. Given Bailey's importance to the future of the franchise, this approach strikes me as far more sensible than throwing him in the deep end of the pool and seeing if he can swim (which is essentially what they have done with him).

Cyclone: if you have the lefty/righty splits for the pitchers on your list, that would be interesting to see. Do these young pitchers struggling with control issues have similar splits? I would appreciate you sharing, if you have that information readily available in your database.

Dougdirt: Hopefully you are correct--that his struggles against lefties is a short-term issue only. Although I suspect that it isn't the case. Young pitchers' weaknesses are exposed more and more as the players move up the ladder. The quality lefties just aren't as prevalent in A or AA as they are in AAA and the bigs. I put far more stock in his performance against the latter.


To me the issue isn't about how to maximize Homer's performance. It's how best to manage his development. To me there are three components to his game that are priorities:

1. improve command
2. adjusting to seeing guys a second and third times through the lineups
3. stretching himself deeper into games (really a collorary to #1..become more efficient)

If the Reds agreed with these, then Homer either stays up here ad learns on the job in the rotation, or he goes back down to Lousville to work another 60 innings before perhaps a stint out of their pen in September (a short stint in the pen during the dog days wouldn't effect his development as a starter provided he's logged significant innings in the rotation previously during the season). Primarily pitching out of the pen right now however probably stunts his development.

dougdirt
06-16-2007, 07:57 PM
Dougdirt: Hopefully you are correct--that his struggles against lefties is a short-term issue only. Although I suspect that it isn't the case. Young pitchers' weaknesses are exposed more and more as the players move up the ladder. The quality lefties just aren't as prevalent in A or AA as they are in AAA and the bigs. I put far more stock in his performance against the latter.

Maybe they arent, but he still has what, 31 innings against 'advanced' lefties in AAA and MLB? Sorry, but that simply is not enough, especially with a guy who turned 21 in May to have any type of real concern about his abilities against a group of batters that stand on one side of the plate.

Cyclone792
06-17-2007, 05:54 PM
Cyclone: if you have the lefty/righty splits for the pitchers on your list, that would be interesting to see. Do these young pitchers struggling with control issues have similar splits? I would appreciate you sharing, if you have that information readily available in your database.

Here's the lefty/righty splits for the six young pitchers I highlighed in the original post ...

RHP Carlos Zambrano PA/BB
2002: 9.79 vs. RHB and 5.80 vs. LHB
2003: 10.26 vs. RHB and 8.83 vs. LHB
Career: 11.51 vs. RHB and 7.58 vs. LHB

RHP Tim Hudson PA/BB
1999: 9.37 vs. RHB and 9.34 vs. LHB
Career: 14.35 vs. RHB and 12.53 vs. LHB

RHP Freddy Garcia PA/BB
2000: 10.08 vs. RHB and 7.33 vs. LHB
Career: 16.60 vs. RHB and 11.12 vs. LHB

RHP Roy Halladay PA/BB
1999: 9.29 vs. RHB and 7.80 vs. LHB
Career: 19.89 vs. RHB and 15.01 vs. LHB

LHP C.C. Sabathia PA/BB
2001: 7.71 vs. RHB and 10.07 vs. LHB
2002: 9.74 vs. RHB and 11.53 vs. LHB
Career: 11.85 vs. RHB and 12.84 vs. RHB

RHP Jake Peavy PA/BB
2003: 10.43 vs. RHB and 9.76 vs. LHB
Career: 15.20 vs. RHB and 11.31 vs. LHB

2007 NL RHP league averages PA/BB
14.16 vs. RHB and 9.90 vs. LHB

The only abnormal split in regards to walking many more batters of the opposite hand, relative to the league average, seems to be Zambrano in 2002 when he walked lefties at a rate almost twice as high as righties. A few guys, such as Hudson in 1999 and Peavy in 2003, walked lefties and righties at very similar rates during their high walk seasons.

As noted, in his two starts thus far, Bailey has 0 walks allowed in 19 plate appearances vs. righty hitters and 7 walks allowed (1 intentional) in 32 plate appearances vs. lefty hitters. Going forward throughout the rest of this season and into future years, it will be interesting to see how Bailey's splits with regards to his walk rate shapes up.