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OnBaseMachine
03-21-2008, 01:00 AM
With Minors looming, Bailey impresses
Prized prospect unlikely to start season with big league squad
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Although his chances of making the Reds rotation have been greatly diminished, Homer Bailey says he isn't dwelling on the outcome of the battle to land a spot.

"The only way I have control over it is out there. So I worry about how I do out there," Bailey said. "Anything else, whatever decisions are made, they're not my decisions. I can't control them. So why worry about them?"

Despite taking the loss on Thursday against the Twins, Bailey had one of his better outings of the spring. The right-hander allowed one earned run and three hits over four innings with two walks and no strikeouts in the Reds' 4-0 defeat.

"I threw fairly well tonight, so I was happy about that," Bailey said.

Through five starts, totaling 14 2/3 innings, Bailey is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA. He has given up 11 earned runs, 22 hits and 10 walks with nine strikeouts. Reds manager Dusty Baker said that Bailey is improving.

"He's better. His mechanics are better," Baker said. "He's still had some problems with command and consistency with staying out of that one big inning, which plagues a lot of young pitchers."

The big inning was avoided on Thursday by the 21-year-old Bailey, who did a nice job of damage control against Minnesota.

Bailey allowed a one-out walk and a two-out walk in the first inning, but kept Minnesota scoreless in the frame and then retired the side in order in the second. In the third inning, after a leadoff bloop single by Adam Everett and a double down the left-field line by Carlos Gomez, Bailey got out of it with just one run scoring on Michael Cuddyer's sacrifice fly.

Delmon Young hit a leadoff single in the fourth but was erased by an inning-ending double play.

"He showed tremendous determination," Baker said. "He threw the ball really good. It seemed like when he got into trouble, he reached back and got some more. He had good mound presence and damage control, especially after he got into trouble."

Expected to have an inside track on a rotation spot coming into camp, Bailey has been overshadowed by fellow pitching prospects Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, both of whom are expected to make the team. Volquez followed Bailey with a better outing -- two scoreless innings with two hits and two strikeouts to lower his Grapefruit League ERA to 3.00.

One spot remains up for grabs between Bailey, Josh Fogg and Matt Belisle. Fogg, who has a 3.38 ERA over his five games, appears to have the best chance based on spring performances and his veteran experience.

Seemingly resigned to his fate, Bailey said he wouldn't be disappointed if he didn't make the Reds roster.

"No, not really," he said. "Obviously, I'd be wanting to go to [Triple-A] Louisville and do whatever it takes to get back. But really, to see how well Johnny and Volquez have been throwing, they've definitely shown what they can do and have shown they can pitch at this level. I'm very happy for what they have done as well. It's good to know that you have other players like that around you."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080320&content_id=2447999&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

reds44
03-21-2008, 01:03 AM
Until he starts striking out more guys then he is walking it's hard for me to say he is pitching "better".

Even today he walked 2 and struck out none.

RedsManRick
03-21-2008, 01:07 AM
Exactly, reds44. Seems like he either misses bats and the strike zone or neither. Getting passed up by Cueto and Volquez will hopefully give him some breathing room to develop in AAA.

WMR
03-21-2008, 01:09 AM
I love the idea of Homer in AAA till September.

flyer85
03-21-2008, 01:14 AM
Until he starts striking out more guys then he is walking it's hard for me to say he is pitching "better".

Even today he walked 2 and struck out none.isn't really any more to say.

OnBaseMachine
03-21-2008, 01:16 AM
I don't really think Baker was saying he is pitching better, just that his mechanics were better tonight than previous outings.

remdog
03-21-2008, 01:42 AM
The zero K's jumped out at me as well.

Homer's game is about dominating hitters and he hasn't been able to that at the higher level. Until he does he needs to continue to work to develop his game and L'ville is the place to do it.

Also remember, he's 21.It's still early in his learning curve. If it takes this year, even next year too, if the light bulb comes on, it'll be worth the wait.

Rem

Aronchis
03-21-2008, 01:45 AM
I don't really think Baker was saying he is pitching better, just that his mechanics were better tonight than previous outings.

I agree. From a strength pov, he wasn't close. But he wasn't looking like a drunk at 2:00AM.

Bailey is slower than my 85 year old grandmother.

Triples
03-21-2008, 08:18 AM
We also don't know what pitches were being called from the dugout. ST is the time to work on one's weaknesses. For all we know they had him throwing a majority of breaking balls and change ups, which could explain why he's been walking so many and striking out so few.

That doesn't diminish the fact that he has to be able to effectively throw those pitches in the majors to be effective but his strikeout pitch has always been his fastball and if they have him throwing fewer of those then it could be why he's striking out fewer batters

bucksfan2
03-21-2008, 10:13 AM
Homer sure has become a polarizing character. He pitches 4 innings of 1 run baseball and its not enough. Did anyone see how he pitched? Did he keep the hitters off balance? Too much is missed by just looking at the stat line.

RANDY IN INDY
03-21-2008, 10:20 AM
Homer sure has become a polarizing character. He pitches 4 innings of 1 run baseball and its not enough. Did anyone see how he pitched? Did he keep the hitters off balance? Too much is missed by just looking at the stat line.

Blasphemy:laugh:

traderumor
03-21-2008, 10:23 AM
I think I see now the bigger problem with drafting HS pitchers in the high rounds. It is the unrealistic expectations put on them both by the organizations and fans. Homer would be starting his senior year in college or have been drafted as a junior and just starting his professional career. I think Dusty understands that, and rather than being the destroyer of young arms, he seems like he might be able to coddle these young arms into being something special over the next 3-5 years.

RANDY IN INDY
03-21-2008, 10:27 AM
Good point, traderumor. I think Homer needs more time to refine a really nice arm and arsenal of pitches. He's still very young.

SMcGavin
03-21-2008, 11:50 AM
"No, not really," he said. "Obviously, I'd be wanting to go to [Triple-A] Louisville and do whatever it takes to get back. But really, to see how well Johnny and Volquez have been throwing, they've definitely shown what they can do and have shown they can pitch at this level. I'm very happy for what they have done as well. It's good to know that you have other players like that around you."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080320&content_id=2447999&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

He's saying the right things. It could be that the emergence of Cueto and Volquez is the best thing to happen to Bailey - not only does he get more time in AAA to work on things, but when he eventually does come back he is no longer viewed as the savior of the franchise.

Joseph
03-21-2008, 11:54 AM
It is exciting to think that the POTENTIAL this kid has doesn't have to be rushed now thanks to the emergence of the two other young kids. With Harang and Arroyo signed for several years and these kids all on the horizon/verge of the majors I'm very excited to see what might happen.

Screwball
03-21-2008, 12:00 PM
It is exciting to think that the POTENTIAL this kid has doesn't have to be rushed now thanks to the emergence of the two other young kids.

Yep, what sometimes gets lost in the "head case", "bad attitude" debates is the fact that this is a kid who has TOR stuff. Giving him every opportunity to hone and then master that stuff will greatly improve his chances of realizing his potential. Just another reason why depth is so important to an organization's farm system.

M2
03-21-2008, 12:28 PM
Homer sure has become a polarizing character. He pitches 4 innings of 1 run baseball and its not enough. Did anyone see how he pitched? Did he keep the hitters off balance? Too much is missed by just looking at the stat line.

My take is there's little point searching for nuance when big things aren't going right. If a pitcher is allowing more BBs than Ks, then no amount of keeping hitters off balance is going to save him in the long run.

I'm glad Bailey didn't hemorrhage runs last night, but he needs to perform like a power pitcher with better control on a consistent basis before we can have any hope of him helping the major league club. He's got a way to go and tr's right that stepping off the gas pedal in terms of his advancement likely will be the best thing the Reds organization has done for him.

princeton
03-21-2008, 12:55 PM
I'm wondering if the OR isn't looming.

Matt700wlw
03-21-2008, 12:56 PM
Too much is missed by just looking at the stat line.

Be careful...

SunDeck
03-21-2008, 12:58 PM
Cueto just seems like a freak to me. An exciting one, for sure, and it's great to have him emerge this spring because it gives the Reds the luxury of developing the other potential talent as they should rather than rushing them to the bigs. Who's to say Bailey won't be a dominant 23 year old in a couple of years? I'd take that.
We don't know that will happen, but I'm pretty sure I know what would happen if he goes north on OD.

bucksfan2
03-21-2008, 01:04 PM
Be careful...

Be careful of what?????

RedsManRick
03-21-2008, 02:35 PM
Be careful of what?????

Looking at things other than the stat lines... The computers will hunt you down and kill you if actually watch games. Trust me, I looked up from my spreadsheet once and almost got my head chopped off.

Spring~Fields
03-21-2008, 03:44 PM
Looking at things other than the stat lines... The computers will hunt you down and kill you if actually watch games. Trust me, I looked up from my spreadsheet once and almost got my head chopped off.

Claim to be old and feeble like GAC and I, then they won’t stone you er um baseball you to death. :)

Kc61
03-21-2008, 03:51 PM
I'm wondering if the OR isn't looming.


As upsetting as his post is, Princeton (as usual) has a point. While I haven't seen him this spring, I surmise that Bailey hasn't regained that 95 mph velocity. Last year, we were told there was a groin injury.

Is there a mechanical problem, an arm problem, other injury,or what? When Bailey goes 4 innings without a strikeout, it makes you wonder.

They are letting him pitch, which indicates that the Reds don't think he's hurt. That's a good sign. But since mid-2007 the guy doesn't seem to be the same pitcher. Hope he gets on track.

Aronchis
03-21-2008, 04:10 PM
As upsetting as his post is, Princeton (as usual) has a point. While I haven't seen him this spring, I surmise that Bailey hasn't regained that 95 mph velocity. Last year, we were told there was a groin injury.

Is there a mechanical problem, an arm problem, other injury,or what? When Bailey goes 4 innings without a strikeout, it makes you wonder.

They are letting him pitch, which indicates that the Reds don't think he's hurt. That's a good sign. But since mid-2007 the guy doesn't seem to be the same pitcher. Hope he gets on track.

Actually, he might not. Homer did throw over 95mph last year during his groin injury, but it was only usually for 1 inning. When he came back at the end of the year, it was 4 innings.

Also, the reason they have been starting Homer in spring training is because how long it takes him to warm up.

Sounds like his mechanics are good for the arm, but difficult/takes time to get a groove in and build strength.

As I said before, hope this guy doesn't get a leg injury in July, you may never see him again lol.

Matt700wlw
03-21-2008, 04:10 PM
Be careful of what?????

Dissin' those numbers... ;) The SABRheads will hunt you down.

wheels
03-21-2008, 05:14 PM
I'm wondering if the OR isn't looming.

I have a bad feeling about that myself.

Kid's losing velocity and control. That's what happens before that ulner collatoral goes "boom!".

Aronchis
03-21-2008, 05:26 PM
I have a bad feeling about that myself.

Kid's losing velocity and control. That's what happens before that ulner collatoral goes "boom!".

The only problem with that is, there is no "proof" that Bailey has lost velocity or control. Matter of fact, reasons for his 2005 struggles mid-season when he was throwing out of the bullpen alot are now cleared up and why he boomed in 2006 starting for a full season.

If anything, his late season stint rejected that notion. Trying to use spring training as a excuse doesn't cut it.

LoganBuck
03-21-2008, 05:40 PM
I listened to the whole broadcast last night, and Brantley was on Bailey like white on rice. But if you sift through the chaff, you will see that he had problems with Maurer, Cuddyer, Mourneau and Young. They were talking about pitch efficiency with Bailey and he got a lot of fly balls, and some "smashes" to Phillips and Encarnacion. He had one pulled by Keppinger as well. It sounded like they got good wood on him all night. He had several fouls that were in the near miss category. Overall I think it was more of a Haynesian effort. Many near misses, in terms of chances for the Twins to score runs. He missed up and he missed down, but Brantley did compliment him for his ability to get the fastball in on the hands. He got several popups on high fastballs. I don't think Brantley called one time that a Twin swung at a breaking ball.

Remember I am relying on the PBP of Jeff Brantley. The runner that scored reached base on a hit it where they aren't fly ball, Freel didn't get a good jump either.

Blitz Dorsey
03-21-2008, 07:29 PM
I agree. From a strength pov, he wasn't close. But he wasn't looking like a drunk at 2:00AM.

Bailey is slower than my 85 year old grandmother.

Your grandma can throw hard.