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OnBaseMachine
04-01-2008, 12:31 PM
With Bats, Bailey's No. 1 goal is control
Reds' top pitching prospect seeks confidence with Bats

By C. L. Brown • cbrown@courier-journal.com • April 1, 2008

Homer Bailey made it look easy as he sprinted through the minor leagues.

The slender pitcher with the big right arm was the Cincinnati Reds' 2006 minor league Player of the Year. He was rated their top prospect from 2004-06.

There was a relatively brief stop in Triple-A Louisville before making his major league debut last season a month after turning 21.

That's where things didn't come so easy.

Bailey's nine starts with the Reds were a humbling experience, as was his spring. And he's beginning the new season back in Louisville.

"We lose track of how hard this game is," Bailey said yesterday. "There's a reason there are only a select few up there and there's even a more select few that excel. It's not something that's going to be learned overnight."

With more learning to do, Bailey was at Louisville Slugger Field yesterday as the Bats assembled for the first time after spring training in Florida. The team will work out at 2 p.m. today in a public session before beginning the season Thursday at Syracuse.

Bailey will be the Bats' opening-day pitcher. It's not something he expected, but he's learning not to rush his ascent to the major leagues.

"I have probably (less) patience than anybody," he said. "When I'm not doing as well as I can, I do have to sit back and say, 'Take a look at the big picture. Take a step back and slow down and get everything under control.' "

Bailey struggled with his control with the Reds last season. Despite a 4-2 record, he had a 5.76 ERA in nine starts and matched his 28 strikeouts with 28 walks.

Ricky Stone, one of the Bats' veteran pitchers, said the most important number isn't in Bailey's stats -- it's his age. Bailey won't turn 22 until May 3. The Bats' only younger player is outfielder Jay Bruce, who'll become 21 Thursday.

Stone, who has pitched in the big leagues for Houston, San Diego and Cincinnati, said despite all the accomplishments, Bailey simply needs a bit more seasoning.

"He's still 21 years old; people forget about that," Stone said. "He moved so quickly and has done so well so early, and now they're saying his control is not there; well, his control is there.

"He's got to get his confidence. He's going to get it down here (Triple-A) and going to go right at hitters."

Louisville pitching coach Ted Power said Bailey's control correlates to how he goes at those batters.

"It's just a matter of consistency," Power said. "He's got to throw strikes earlier in the count so they can't sit on certain pitches and he's not forced to throw his second- or third-best pitch when he's behind in the count instead of his fastball."

Both Power and Bailey said his problems have been more mental than mechanical. He admitted he has been in situations on the mound where he has lost focus.

"You could be out there mowing the lawn and start thinking about something else, and you look back like, 'I just missed a spot there,' " Bailey said. "It's kind of the same thing."

In six starts this spring with the Reds, he had 16 walks to 11 strikeouts and a 5.21 ERA. That -- and the success of young pitchers Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez -- led to his demotion.

How long Bailey stays in Louisville, where he went 6-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 12 starts last season, remains to be seen.

Louisville Bats manager Rick Sweet said the outlook is "fluid," depending on how quickly Bailey regains his control and the needs in Cincinnati. Sweet said that despite Bailey's struggles to meet expectations -- both his own and external -- he has not gotten down on himself.

"Without a doubt he struggled a little bit last year," Sweet said. "He got it back together. He had a good spring training. I'm excited to watch and see what Homer is going to do."

C.L. Brown can be reached at (502) 582-4044.

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080401/SPORTS/804010456/1036/SPORTS07

Highlifeman21
04-01-2008, 06:58 PM
I hope he gets it figured out by 1st MLB start of 2009.

There's no sense for him to struggle and not get it figured out at the MLB level in 2008, so let him stay at AAA. It only helps the Reds future.

I am a little concerned with both Powers and Bailey saying that his struggles are more mental (lack of focus) than mechanical. At least with mechanical problems, you could give credibility to lingering effects from a groin injury.

cincyinco
04-01-2008, 07:23 PM
I thought it was pretty obvious is command from the stretch needed work the most. From the windup he was pretty spot on. I believe its a bit of both(mental/mechanics), but its nothing I don't feel he can't work out and overcome. He may still get off to a slow start, but I can easily see him hitting a stride in late May/June.

fearofpopvol1
04-01-2008, 07:38 PM
I hope he gets it figured out by 1st MLB start of 2009.

There's no sense for him to struggle and not get it figured out at the MLB level in 2008, so let him stay at AAA. It only helps the Reds future.

I am a little concerned with both Powers and Bailey saying that his struggles are more mental (lack of focus) than mechanical. At least with mechanical problems, you could give credibility to lingering effects from a groin injury.

I actually disagree and think the opposite. I think it's easier to correct mental mistakes than it is mechanical ones.

Highlifeman21
04-01-2008, 07:43 PM
I actually disagree and think the opposite. I think it's easier to correct mental mistakes than it is mechanical ones.

You think he has a greater chance of success to overcome his mental woes at the MLB level, rather than the AAA level?

fearofpopvol1
04-01-2008, 07:49 PM
You think he has a greater chance of success to overcome his mental woes at the MLB level, rather than the AAA level?

No, I agree that AAA is where he should be, but what I'm saying is I'm not troubled by his/Power's comments about his struggles being attributed to mental mistakes rather than mechanical mistakes. I'd rather his mistakes be mental, especially at 21. I think he can overcome them, especially at AAA.

Aronchis
04-01-2008, 09:42 PM
If you want his control to improve, just wait for his usual seasonal prepping.

When he is up to 97mph usually that means his command will improve as well. Though you may have to wait for a few weeks while he builds up leg strength.

Last year, he was banged up and couldn't keep a groove. In 2006 it was June when he got consistant.

Each pitcher throws and has a system of their own. 2006 is the template for Bailey. If he isn't firing consistantly well by June, either he forgot to pitch or has gone insane;).

MikeS21
04-02-2008, 12:45 AM
If you want his control to improve, just wait for his usual seasonal prepping.

When he is up to 97mph usually that means his command will improve as well. Though you may have to wait for a few weeks while he builds up leg strength.

Last year, he was banged up and couldn't keep a groove. In 2006 it was June when he got consistant.

Each pitcher throws and has a system of their own. 2006 is the template for Bailey. If he isn't firing consistantly well by June, either he forgot to pitch or has gone insane;).
Except, who is to say that 2006 was the template? Bailey wasn't exactly lights out in 2004 or 2005 in the GCL or at Low-A. Perhaps 2006 was the exception, and 2005 and 2007 is the norm for Bailey.

Based on his numbers in 2004 and 2005 and 2007, I'm beginning to think 2006 was a fluke.

dougdirt
04-02-2008, 01:03 AM
Except, who is to say that 2006 was the template? Bailey wasn't exactly lights out in 2004 or 2005 in the GCL or at Low-A. Perhaps 2006 was the exception, and 2005 and 2007 is the norm for Bailey.

Based on his numbers in 2004 and 2005 and 2007, I'm beginning to think 2006 was a fluke.

2004 he logged 10 innings.
2005 he was brought in out of the bullpen a bunch and its been well noted that it takes him a while to warm up.
2006 he made drastic improvements in his control.
2007 he was hurt with a groin issue the first week of May, then hurt it again at the end of June and went on to not pitch again until September.

If we had something to put our finger on as 'the real Homer Bailey' I lean toward 2006.

Aronchis
04-02-2008, 03:14 AM
Bailey needs to build strength in his legs so he can properly land his leg correctly and throw to his fullest. When he gets tired,not loose enough, he starts landing inproperly. His last spring training start, we saw that in full bloom when he had good command the first 2.1I's then imploded and the previous start where he walked two in the first and then walk free thereafter. He also was throwing 93-94 which is a spring training Homer Bailey tradition. I heard the cries in 2006 in spring training as well, even into May about his fallen "velocity" from where he was at the end of 2005.

As he gets older, filled out and more refined, he will handle fatigue better and repeat his mechanics consistantly.

It is sorta a funny doug, but the first time I read about Homer's delivery and its demands on the legs was during his last start in 2006 which was a disaster. It was cool that night and most everybody thought he had a tight arm. Well, it wasn't his arm having the problems, it was his legs. He had trouble getting loose and he couldn't locate the ball what so ever with the problems I described above.

It is quite evident when we go into this discussion why the Reds put Bailey on the block, but won't trade him unless they get a ace RIGHT NOW.

His mechanics and such, usually lead to long careers though they don't necessarily start the fastest. I think because of that, the Reds feel Homer will be a ace at some point so if they are to deal him, they must get a ace now. Anything else is a loss in value, at least from the Reds POV.

Even if Homer doesn't become a ace to 2010-11, the wait would be worth it or the good meal comes sooner with a already developed ace which leads the Reds to a WS sooner than 2010-11

MikeS21
04-02-2008, 03:54 PM
2004 he logged 10 innings.
2005 he was brought in out of the bullpen a bunch and its been well noted that it takes him a while to warm up.
2006 he made drastic improvements in his control.
2007 he was hurt with a groin issue the first week of May, then hurt it again at the end of June and went on to not pitch again until September.

If we had something to put our finger on as 'the real Homer Bailey' I lean toward 2006.
Doug, I'm sorry, but we are just going to have to agree to disagree on the subject of Homer Bailey. You and I have discussed him before, and neither one of us is going to budge from our opinion.

Believe me, I hope to goodness that I am wrong and you are right about Bailey. I don't dislike the guy. I hope he puts it all together and comes in to be the #1 starter for years to come. I really hope that happens.

It it evident that other folks around baseball, outside of the Reds organization, have began to raise the question of whether or not Bailey's 2006 was a fluke. Had they not raised the questions, Bailey would have likely been gone in a trade for Bedard or for Blanton And I wonder if internally, off-the-record, behind-closed-doors, there aren't some in the Reds' FO asking the same question.

I need to see something besides his 2006 numbers to get me on the Homer Bailey wagon.

dougdirt
04-02-2008, 04:00 PM
It it evident that other folks around baseball, outside of the Reds organization, have began to raise the question of whether or not Bailey's 2006 was a fluke. Had they not raised the questions, Bailey would have likely been gone in a trade for Bedard or for Blanton And I wonder if internally, off-the-record, behind-closed-doors, there aren't some in the Reds' FO asking the same question.

I need to see something besides his 2006 numbers to get me on the Homer Bailey wagon.

If the backlash is so down on Bailey, why is he still among the best prospects in baseball no matter who you ask among all the experts who talk to talent evaluators in baseball every day? Are there concerns with him? Yeah, there are. As for Bedard, he didn't come to the Reds because the Orioles demanded a top notch outfielder and the Reds weren't parting with Jay Bruce. It had nothing to do with Homer Bailey. As for Blanton, I don't care if Bailey turns into a #4 pitcher for the Reds.... I wouldn't trade him for Blanton, because thats all Blanton is, except more expensive.

Bailey is inconsistent right now, but when he is on.... he is pretty darn good even against the best in baseball. Its when he gets out of sync that he has his problems. The key is figuring out how to keep him in sync. He is 21, there is plenty of time for it.

Matt700wlw
04-02-2008, 04:19 PM
Get the control part under control, and he'll be good to go.

camisadelgolf
04-02-2008, 04:40 PM
It looks to me that Homer Bailey has some 'filling out' to do. Until that happens, I think he'll struggle with his command.

gedred69
04-03-2008, 09:00 PM
If the backlash is so down on Bailey, why is he still among the best prospects in baseball no matter who you ask among all the experts who talk to talent evaluators in baseball every day? Are there concerns with him? Yeah, there are. As for Bedard, he didn't come to the Reds because the Orioles demanded a top notch outfielder and the Reds weren't parting with Jay Bruce. It had nothing to do with Homer Bailey. As for Blanton, I don't care if Bailey turns into a #4 pitcher for the Reds.... I wouldn't trade him for Blanton, because thats all Blanton is, except more expensive.

Bailey is inconsistent right now, but when he is on.... he is pretty darn good even against the best in baseball. Its when he gets out of sync that he has his problems. The key is figuring out how to keep him in sync. He is 21, there is plenty of time for it.

It grates on me to agree with you, but, you state sound points. I saw Homer pitch this ST---(did you?) against the Bosox in that debacle of a game when BP pitcher Shearn replaced Homer. Yes, he had given up 3 runs, but he had really good stuff working, he struck out Ortiz and Manny BTB. No one could catch up to his FB, because he was using his curve and change so effectively. Bosox fans around me noticed no one could catch up to Homer's FB, and asked me if he really threw that hard or was he just fooling hitters. Homer has great stuff. He's just gotta' get it over the plate more often. He has #!-2 capability. It's all on him, and whether or not his head is un-repairable. He could be an ace, or another head case Tomko.

MikeS21
04-03-2008, 11:28 PM
If the backlash is so down on Bailey, why is he still among the best prospects in baseball no matter who you ask among all the experts who talk to talent evaluators in baseball every day? Are there concerns with him? Yeah, there are. As for Bedard, he didn't come to the Reds because the Orioles demanded a top notch outfielder and the Reds weren't parting with Jay Bruce. It had nothing to do with Homer Bailey. As for Blanton, I don't care if Bailey turns into a #4 pitcher for the Reds.... I wouldn't trade him for Blanton, because thats all Blanton is, except more expensive.

Bailey is inconsistent right now, but when he is on.... he is pretty darn good even against the best in baseball. Its when he gets out of sync that he has his problems. The key is figuring out how to keep him in sync. He is 21, there is plenty of time for it.
doug, I guess what I'm looking for out of Bailey is for him to dominate opposing hitters the way Cueto did today in his debut.

In fact, Bailey' numbers today in his first Louisville start looked very good. If he could add 4-5 K's to the pitching line he had today, and repeat that kind of performance ten times in his next 12-13 starts, then I would be much more inclined to jump on the Homer bandwagon.

dougdirt
04-04-2008, 12:35 AM
doug, I guess what I'm looking for out of Bailey is for him to dominate opposing hitters the way Cueto did today in his debut.

In fact, Bailey' numbers today in his first Louisville start looked very good. If he could add 4-5 K's to the pitching line he had today, and repeat that kind of performance ten times in his next 12-13 starts, then I would be much more inclined to jump on the Homer bandwagon.

Well you seem to want polish and upside. Bailey has the most upside of anyone in the system that throws the ball for a living. He is working on the polish part of his game still. Today was a decently good start to that. I am not worried about Bailey's strikeout numbers right now. I am a lot more worried about how his control is progressing. Right now health, improvement in control and then results are what matters to me about Bailey and in that order. If those first two things keep going in the right direction the results will come the way we all want.

SarasotaFan
04-04-2008, 01:03 AM
doug, I guess what I'm looking for out of Bailey is for him to dominate opposing hitters the way Cueto did today in his debut.

In fact, Bailey' numbers today in his first Louisville start looked very good. If he could add 4-5 K's to the pitching line he had today, and repeat that kind of performance ten times in his next 12-13 starts, then I would be much more inclined to jump on the Homer bandwagon.

but will we ever see that though...

even in spring training you could tell how much better of a pitcher Cueto was than Bailey...but who knows, it's only been one start in a season for both of them. only time will tell...

TRF
04-04-2008, 01:39 PM
Well you seem to want polish and upside. Bailey has the most upside of anyone in the system that throws the ball for a living.

I absolutely disagree with this. Homer Bailey does not have more upside than Johnny Cueto. In fact, I doubt RIGHT NOW that Bailey will pitch anywhere near the level Cueto will this year.

Bailey has 1-2 MPH on Cueto, or at least he did last year. but his downside is command. Bailey has never had it, and Cueto for the most part ALWAYS has.

That stated, I was thrilled with the low walk total from yesterday's game. But he needs to combine that with the K numbers he used to have. His K numbers the last 2 years in the minors suggest he was one of those effectively wild guys, where Cueto has been noted for his control. He owned both sides of the plate in a way NONE of us have ever seen in a pitcher of his age and experience. That was supposed to be Homer doing that.

Unless he harnesses his stuff, he'll never get close to the ceiling you project. Cueto is much more likely to reach his ceiling, and therefore has the greater upside. It isn't just about potential and tools. It's baseball IQ, command and results. Maybe Bailey is a year away. I really hope he is ans he could join what might be one of the best rotations in the NL Central, and possibly the rest of the NL too. 1-5 could just be sick.

Screwball
04-04-2008, 01:51 PM
I really hope he is and he could join what might be one of the best rotations in the NL Central, and possibly the rest of the NL too. 1-5 could just be sick.

Ain't that the truth.

When NL Bronson Arroyo is your 5th best pitcher (potentially), your team is going to have a legitimate chance to win every single game, or at least favored to win the great majority.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2008, 02:12 PM
That stated, I was thrilled with the low walk total from yesterday's game. But he needs to combine that with the K numbers he used to have.

Bailey needs to get outs, period. It may turn out that he is not a high K guy. Maybe he's more a medium K guy. Doesn't really matter. The focus on not walking guys/efficiency right now seems appropriate to me, especially given his performance in ST.

TOBTTReds
04-04-2008, 02:15 PM
even in spring training you could tell how much better of a pitcher Cueto was than Bailey

You must have missed Cueto's last few starts.

SarasotaFan
04-04-2008, 02:30 PM
You must have missed Cueto's last few starts.
I did miss his last one vs. the Rays. I saw the line - it was indeed ugly.

Better to get that out of the way during the spring than during the season.

HokieRed
04-04-2008, 02:41 PM
Believe me, Bailey will be a high K guy if he can get his stuff under control. He has an incredibly explosive breaking ball, the kind that is inherently difficult to control. It's downward movement is tremendous. He's only 21; he's doing right what he should be doing, working on his command in AAA ball. Reds fans should do everything they can to encourage him because he is/can/will be (at least I believe so) a major part of what potentially is a very good rotation. He had higher K rates in the lower minors because the hitters are less experienced. They will get themselves behind earlier in counts and then have to swing at pitches out of the strike zone. Having too good a stuff in the low minors works against one's developing command. You can't learn good command of stuff by throwing two fastballs by guys who are over-hyped because they're not sure they can catch up to 96 and then following this with a curve ball that wouldn't have been anywhere near the zone but which the hitter swings at out of self-defense. More innings at a higher level is the remedy.

SarasotaFan
04-04-2008, 02:50 PM
Believe me, Bailey will be a high K guy if he can get his stuff under control. He has an incredibly explosive breaking ball, the kind that is inherently difficult to control. It's downward movement is tremendous. He's only 21; he's doing right what he should be doing, working on his command in AAA ball. Reds fans should do everything they can to encourage him because he is/can/will be (at least I believe so) a major part of what potentially is a very good rotation. He had higher K rates in the lower minors because the hitters are less experienced. They will get themselves behind earlier in counts and then have to swing at pitches out of the strike zone. Having too good a stuff in the low minors works against one's developing command. You can't learn good command of stuff by throwing two fastballs by guys who are over-hyped because they're not sure they can catch up to 96 and then following this with a curve ball that wouldn't have been anywhere near the zone but which the hitter swings at out of self-defense. More innings at a higher level is the remedy.

good points. i try to catch most of the minor league games in my area (I saw Liriano throw last night vs. the Sarasota Reds). some of the hitters are patient enough but do seem to panic when they get a strike away from strike out....

dougdirt
04-04-2008, 03:04 PM
I absolutely disagree with this. Homer Bailey does not have more upside than Johnny Cueto. In fact, I doubt RIGHT NOW that Bailey will pitch anywhere near the level Cueto will this year.
Upside isn't limited to just this year. Cueto will likely be the better pitcher for the next 2 years, but Bailey absolutely has a higher upside. He throws faster, releases it from a better plane, closer to the plate (so its also going faster as it reaches home plate and gets there a little quicker as well), has a better offspeed pitch (Bailey's curve when on is better than any pitch Cueto has) and has a much better body than Cueto does. Cueto has command on Bailey. Thats about it. That is what is going to make Cueto a better bet for the near future.



Unless he harnesses his stuff, he'll never get close to the ceiling you project. Cueto is much more likely to reach his ceiling, and therefore has the greater upside. It isn't just about potential and tools. It's baseball IQ, command and results. Maybe Bailey is a year away. I really hope he is ans he could join what might be one of the best rotations in the NL Central, and possibly the rest of the NL too. 1-5 could just be sick.
No, upside is upside. Bailey has more upside than Cueto. Cueto is closer to his ceiling, but Bailey's ceiling is higher. Cueto is real good, so this is in no way a shot at him at all.

camisadelgolf
04-04-2008, 03:23 PM
I think TRF doesn't have the same definition of 'upside' as everyone else.

I don't think Homer Bailey is a strikeout pitcher in the Major Leagues. His biggest strength is his ability to get players to put weak swings on his fastball. In many ways, that's better than being a strikeout pitcher (i.e. less pitches thrown, more double plays).

TRF
04-04-2008, 03:48 PM
I think TRF doesn't have the same definition of 'upside' as everyone else.

I don't think Homer Bailey is a strikeout pitcher in the Major Leagues. His biggest strength is his ability to get players to put weak swings on his fastball. In many ways, that's better than being a strikeout pitcher (i.e. less pitches thrown, more double plays).

You are right. I don't.

I see upside as how close a player can come to reaching his ceiling. Just about every skillset doug mentioned is also possesed by Jon Rauch. Rauch is a failed starter, but a good setup man. Bailey's ceiling might be Nolan Ryan, but right now he's a long way off. Cueto's ceiling might be Pedro Martinez. He's close to that right now.

Right now, Bailey is no where near as polished, and his curve is useless as he can't control his fastball. His history shows he does not have command of the plate just yet. I hope last night is a step in the right direction. I'd be trilled with 1BB performances from Bailey if he can also K 5-6 batters. But the numbers don't lie. Bailey in his young career, has walked a lot of batters. Cueto has not.

Bailey's overall upside is his ceiling/tools minus his flaws, same as any other player. That's why Cueto has a higher upside, while having a slightly lower ceiling. His flaws are fewer.

And as far as Bailey's curve being better than any pitch Cueto has, rubbish. Cueto dominated the DBacks with a fastball and an exploding slider. He had pinpoint control. Not one of Bailey's starts with the Reds when he was "healthy" came anywhere close to the masterpiece that was Cueto's debut.

dougdirt
04-04-2008, 04:04 PM
You are right. I don't.

I see upside as how close a player can come to reaching his ceiling. Just about every skillset doug mentioned is also possesed by Jon Rauch. Rauch is a failed starter, but a good setup man. Bailey's ceiling might be Nolan Ryan, but right now he's a long way off. Cueto's ceiling might be Pedro Martinez. He's close to that right now.

Right now, Bailey is no where near as polished, and his curve is useless as he can't control his fastball. His history shows he does not have command of the plate just yet. I hope last night is a step in the right direction. I'd be trilled with 1BB performances from Bailey if he can also K 5-6 batters. But the numbers don't lie. Bailey in his young career, has walked a lot of batters. Cueto has not.

Bailey's overall upside is his ceiling/tools minus his flaws, same as any other player. That's why Cueto has a higher upside, while having a slightly lower ceiling. His flaws are fewer.

And as far as Bailey's curve being better than any pitch Cueto has, rubbish. Cueto dominated the DBacks with a fastball and an exploding slider. He had pinpoint control. Not one of Bailey's starts with the Reds when he was "healthy" came anywhere close to the masterpiece that was Cueto's debut.

Cueto is a year older than Bailey was last year too. Regardless, none of that changes either players upside. We may have different opinions on what upside is.... but for my definition of upside, Bailey's is higher and nothing Cueto did in his debut changes that. I will say that Cueto's debut did improve what I thought of him though.

TRF
04-04-2008, 04:34 PM
Cueto is a year older than Bailey was last year too. Regardless, none of that changes either players upside. We may have different opinions on what upside is.... but for my definition of upside, Bailey's is higher and nothing Cueto did in his debut changes that. I will say that Cueto's debut did improve what I thought of him though.

Bailey's AAA start improved my opinion of him too. he's still miles behind Cueto, and I doubt he's the first guy called if something (Fogg) goes wrong in the rotation. I think he could have a bright future. I am certain, as anyone can be about young pitching, that Cueto will have a brighter one.

(edited cuz I get easily confused about ages) do'h. But bailey is only 4 months younger than Cueto, and his ST was nothing to smile about.

camisadelgolf
04-04-2008, 04:39 PM
This is all very simple. Johnny Cueto is closer than Homer Bailey to reaching his respective potential. What's the big difference between them? As a youth, Cueto was throwing lemons instead of baseballs. (http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2008/04/04/ddn040408archweb.html) When life gave Cueto a lemon, he threw a nasty slider. When life gave Bailey a lemon, he turned it into a groin strain.

Aronchis
04-04-2008, 05:04 PM
Cueto has little room for error. Bailey has more room for error hence Bailey doesn't need to be near his ceiling to help the Reds.

TRF
04-04-2008, 05:07 PM
Cueto has little room for error. Bailey has more room for error hence Bailey doesn't need to be near his ceiling to help the Reds.

well, that's just silly talk. A guy with 3 plus pitches, a history of not walking batters, and outstanding K rates at every step of his development has little room for error.

ok. if you say so. I bet the DBacks disagree.

Aronchis
04-04-2008, 05:18 PM
well, that's just silly talk. A guy with 3 plus pitches, a history of not walking batters, and outstanding K rates at every step of his development has little room for error.

ok. if you say so. I bet the DBacks disagree.

The dbacks saw Johnny make ONE error a entire game. That is rare. The point is, Bailey can get away from being a bit wild in the zone because of the plane he throws from. As we saw from his one bad st start, when he is off, he can get shelled quickly.

FWIW, Cueto's "k rates" were 9 k/9. Good but hardly outstanding.

OnBaseMachine
04-04-2008, 05:21 PM
Cueto has little room for error. Bailey has more room for error hence Bailey doesn't need to be near his ceiling to help the Reds.

What a ridiculous comment. And it's far from the truth. Very far.

RedlegJake
04-04-2008, 05:22 PM
Comparing Bailey and Cueto is really wrong. They have different pitching styles, different body types, different repertoires. Nothing much in fact to compare unless you like comparing apples and oranges. Cueto is simply unusal in that he's capable of commanding his arsenal at such a young age. Bailey is probably a better comparison to Volquez in learning curve and stuff and makeup and he has outperformed Volquez at the same age levels and in his first ML appearances. Yet Volquez has Mercker saying he's even better than Cueto, and players and scouts claiming he's turned the corner and watch out. At Bailey's age he was excoriated for failing when he was rushed to the bigs, looked bad by the numbers last year, too but scouts thought he was on the cusp. Yet Texas, who neded pitching far, far more than offense, traded him. Yes, they got a great talent in Hamilton but still, when your franchise is begging for good pitching it is esentially giving up on a guy to trade him for more offense. I just hope the Reds give Bailey the time he needs to harness his stuff because I think he'll be better than Cueto or Volquez when its all said and done and their careers are viewed in retrospect. Cueto will have the faster start and flashier early numbers but Homer will have a longer career, imo. BTW, Bailey's curve reminds me of Koufax - Sandy got most of his Ks with his curveball which simply buckled batters at he knees. His fastball was good, too but his curve was unbelievable -and Bailey's looks like that when he's on. A bit more consistency with that curve, and a bit better command and Bailey is going to be worth the wait. Imagine if Cueto, Bailey, and Volquez just approach their ceilings with Harang and Arroyo. This could be an incredible staff and I am not giving up on Bailey.

Aronchis
04-04-2008, 05:26 PM
What a ridiculous comment. And it's far from the truth. Very far.

Really? Johnny has hit his ceiling right now. It is a pretty good ceiling. But Bailey is only probably at 50% of what he CAN be able to do.

I mean, I don't see 75% Cueto of the seasons end of 2007 helping the Reds last year. Now a 75% Bailey, sure.

It simple is size and delivery. Cueto is small and has less room over the plane. He has to be good or he gets shelled.

That IMO was his problem in high A starting last year(rather than being a headcase as I thought, happy OBM;)). He started growing and moving up his percentages/development as the season went along.

Lets say Bailey does the same thing this year. Not only will he dominate AAA(which Cueto wasn't going to) but probably help the Reds in dog days of summer.

dougdirt
04-04-2008, 05:28 PM
Just a note on the two players pitching planes. Baileys average release point last year was 81.1 inches, while Cueto's yesterday was 70.9 inches. Thats nearly a foot in difference in the release point height. Bailey's baseball has a lot more downward plane on the way to the plate than Cueto's does.

OnBaseMachine
04-04-2008, 05:32 PM
It looks like Nostradamus posts on this board, folks.

TRF
04-04-2008, 05:35 PM
The dbacks saw Johnny make ONE error a entire game. That is rare. The point is, Bailey can get away from being a bit wild in the zone because of the plane he throws from. As we saw from his one bad st start, when he is off, he can get shelled quickly.

FWIW, Cueto's "k rates" were 9 k/9. Good but hardly outstanding.

Again, ridiculous. We saw Bailey last year. He didn't help the Reds, he hurt them. Unless he improves his command, he won't help. His ST was nothing short of awful. Cueto had a fantastic ST marred by one game. It's documented that he always has a 2 game or so stretch at about that time where he experiences a dead arm period.

doug may be a homer for Homer (pun intended) but your anti Cueto rants are borderline obsessive. You called him a headcase last year. Bailey has been labeled one by scouts THIS YEAR.

BTW, Bailey's minor league K rate, 9.85 K/9, Cueto's was 9.26. That isn't a big difference. In fact, their H/9 and HR/9 in the minors are pretty similar. It's that pesky BB/9 where Bailey gets his doors blown off.

And that is why he's in Louisville instead of Cincinnati.

Aronchis
04-04-2008, 05:41 PM
Again, ridiculous. We saw Bailey last year. Unless he's improved his control, he didn't help the Reds, he hurt them. His ST was nothing short of awful. Cueto had a fantastic ST marred by one game. It's documented that he always has a 2 game or so stretch at about that time where he experiences a dead arm period.

doug may be a homer for Homer (pun intended) but your anti Cueto rants a borderline obsessive. You called him a headcase last year. Bailey has been labeled one by scouts THIS YEAR.

BTW, Bailey's minor league K rate, 9.85 K/9, Cueto's was 9.26. That isn't a big difference. In fact, their H/9 and HR/9 in the minors are pretty similar. It's that pesky BB/9 where Bailey gets his doors blown off.

And that is why he's in Louisville instead of Cincinnati.

Bailey's in Louisville for 1 big reason and 1 smaller reason:
1.The big reason is to improve his secondary stuff. Cueto has him over a barrell there, no doubt
2.The little reason is just typical seasonal prepping and getting mechanics down. Homer isn't throwing his best and I have NEVER seen him throw overly hard in often in the early season period. In 2006, he was throwing 91-94 in April/May and we had people complain and make threads on it as well during that time on these boards. Once he gets up to 97mph in games, he becomes a much more dangerous pitcher.

Bailey would have made the Reds if he had shown enough development in his secondary stuff minus the heat. He didn't. Once the heat comes on, we hope his secondary stuff improves to so he can really take off. But just doing a good job locating mid-90's heat would be enough for him to help the Reds. That is what we want to see first.

TRF
04-04-2008, 05:48 PM
Bailey's in Louisville for 1 big reason and 1 smaller reason:
1.The big reason is to improve his secondary stuff. Cueto has him over a barrell there, no doubt
2.The little reason is just typical seasonal prepping and getting mechanics down. Homer isn't throwing his best and I have NEVER seen him throw overly hard in often in the early season period. In 2006, he was throwing 91-94 in April/May and we had people complain and make threads on it as well during that time on these boards. Once he gets up to 97mph in games, he becomes a much more dangerous pitcher.

Bailey would have made the Reds if he had shown enough development in his secondary stuff minus the heat. He didn't. Once the heat comes on, we hope his secondary stuff improves to so he can really take off. But just doing a good job locating mid-90's heat would be enough for him to help the Reds. That is what we want to see first.

So Bailey needs an extra month of ST? He needs longer to build up his arm strength than "little" Johnny Cueto? Bailey might have 1-2 mph on Cueto, or he might not. He certainly walks a LOT of guys. Did he only do that early in the year?

People weren't complaining that Bailey was at 91-94. They questioned whether he was really ever at 97. You don't get it both ways. If Bailey was at 97 at Chatt, the Cueto was at 96 there. Cueto has been the more successful pitcher because he has command and Bailey doesn't. Yet. But it's similar to asking a hitter to develop more plate discipline. It's hard to cut your BB rate in half. For Bailey to be effective, that is what he has to do. I hope he does, but in the meantime, I'll just watch Cueto dominate major league hitters.

Superdude
04-04-2008, 06:11 PM
I've never seen Homer pitch anywhere near 97MPH. I've seen him occasionally go up and grab 95-96, but pitch a whole lot in the 91-93 range. I'm not saying he can't or wasn't doing it before, but why the apparent drop?

dougdirt
04-04-2008, 06:23 PM
So Bailey needs an extra month of ST? He needs longer to build up his arm strength than "little" Johnny Cueto? Bailey might have 1-2 mph on Cueto, or he might not. He certainly walks a LOT of guys. Did he only do that early in the year?

Cueto did pitch in the winter.



People weren't complaining that Bailey was at 91-94. They questioned whether he was really ever at 97. You don't get it both ways. If Bailey was at 97 at Chatt, the Cueto was at 96 there. Cueto has been the more successful pitcher because he has command and Bailey doesn't. Yet. But it's similar to asking a hitter to develop more plate discipline. It's hard to cut your BB rate in half. For Bailey to be effective, that is what he has to do. I hope he does, but in the meantime, I'll just watch Cueto dominate major league hitters.
Bailey has to cut his walk rate in half to be successful? Not even close really. If he cuts his walk rate in half he would have a better walk rate than Aaron Harang. Bailey needs to improve his walk rate but not nearly as much as you make it out to be. As for Bailey ever really being at 97.... yes, he was. Lets hope you are right about Cueto and that dominating big leaguers.

camisadelgolf
04-05-2008, 04:08 AM
I'll argue that the homerun Cueto gave up was actually a good pitch. I think Upton was just like, "I don't have a chance against this guy. I'm just going to guess what the next pitch is at the risk of looking stupid."

dougdirt
04-05-2008, 04:46 AM
I'll argue that the homerun Cueto gave up was actually a good pitch. I think Upton was just like, "I don't have a chance against this guy. I'm just going to guess what the next pitch is at the risk of looking stupid."

Upton hadn't put a decent swing on a breaking ball all series. If there is one thing Upton can do, its catch up to a fastball. Cueto threw him a fastball and Justin smashed it. Should have thrown him something else in that situation.

lollipopcurve
04-05-2008, 08:40 AM
Should have thrown him something else in that situation.

Eh. He'd been blowing him away with hard stuff, too. The pitch got too much of the plate and, who knows, Upton may have been guessing fastball. Remember, Upton's pretty talented too. It happens.

Matt700wlw
04-05-2008, 12:03 PM
From Hal:

Homer Bailey was Class AAA Louisville's Opening Day starter and ran into a shutout, giving up a run (home run), a walk and striking out two in seven innings of a 2-0 defeat.

Bailey threw 82 pitches, 53 for strikes, but an American League scout who witnessed the game said Bailey continues to struggle with throwing first-pitch strikes, and his velocity hovered at 91.

M2
04-05-2008, 01:23 PM
What's the ceiling for a guy with three dominant major league pitches? I figure the absolute ceiling is Cooperstown. I'm not saying Cueto's headed there. He's going to face a lot of tests in this season and the following years. Yet you've got to like the chances of a kid oozing major league stuff and with a head for pitching on his shoulders. He's got the essentials for doing something of note in the majors.

As for Bailey, I mentioned this in another thread, he's working harder to get less these days. It's not all that encouraging to see a young kid who has to dive at the plate in order to get enough zip on his fastball. It's led to him throwing an increasingly straighter fastball. Plus, being able to sustain that sort of effort isn't a matter of extra weeks or months. It's a matter of extra years, of his body filling out and getting stronger as he moves into his mid-20s. Look at how long it took a hoss like Aaron Harang to reach the point where he could effectively use that big body of his.

Anyway, when I look at Bailey, I see a pitcher who needs more than just control. His pitches need major league polish and additional quality.

dougdirt
04-05-2008, 01:48 PM
From Hal:

Homer Bailey was Class AAA Louisville's Opening Day starter and ran into a shutout, giving up a run (home run), a walk and striking out two in seven innings of a 2-0 defeat.

Bailey threw 82 pitches, 53 for strikes, but an American League scout who witnessed the game said Bailey continues to struggle with throwing first-pitch strikes, and his velocity hovered at 91.

I know a few people who were there at the game. Weather was miserable and they say he was about 89-93 with his fastball all game. Sounds about right. I have said it before and will say it again.... with the amount of things Bailey is working on right now (shortening his stride, control, slider, cutter) I am worried about his results and velocity about 5 rungs down the ladder behind health, learning his newer mechanics, gaining some control and improving his newer pitches. When July rolls around I will be much more into whether he isn't throwing 94 at all than I am anytime in April or May really.

Steve4192
04-05-2008, 02:06 PM
What's the ceiling for a guy with three dominant major league pitches?

While people love talking about the 'ceilings' of Bailey & Cueto, the thing that always seems to be forgotten is their 'floor'.

While Bailey might hold a minuscule edge in the ceiling department, the difference between his ceiling and floor resembles the Sistine chapel whereas Cueto's resembles that of a drop-ceiling basement. Right now, Cueto's floor looks like a pretty solid major league starter while Bailey's floor looks a lot like Colt Griffin.

Even if you subscribe to the theory that Cueto has a slightly lower ceiling (I don't), you can't ignore the fact Homer might not ever reach his theoretical level of awesomeness while Johnny is already pretty awesome.

dougdirt
04-05-2008, 02:32 PM
While people love talking about the 'ceilings' of Bailey & Cueto, the thing that always seems to be forgotten is their 'floor'.

While Bailey might hold a minuscule edge in the ceiling department, the difference between his ceiling and floor resembles the Sistine chapel whereas Cueto's resembles that of a drop-ceiling basement. Right now, Cueto's floor looks like a pretty solid major league starter while Bailey's floor looks a lot like Colt Griffin.

Even if you subscribe to the theory that Cueto has a slightly lower ceiling (I don't), you can't ignore the fact Homer might not ever reach his theoretical level of awesomeness while Johnny is already pretty awesome.

I hope people aren't forgetting that part of it. Cueto absolutely has the higher floor of the two. His floor is likely that of a #4 starter for a while. Bailey's floor is likely a AAAA pitcher. I don't think that Bailey's floor is all that far off from Cueto's. I think there are a lot of people making a big deal out of Bailey's spring. He struggled with control. It was spring though. He didn't seem to have a lot of problems on opening day in Syracuse throwing strikes. Bailey's floor isn't very far from being a major league starter of use while he is cheap. Now of course we certainly don't hope for that out of him, but he isn't all too far away from being a guy you would like to have as your #5 guy while making under $400,000.

Aronchis
04-05-2008, 04:59 PM
The only problem is, Cueto doesn't have three dominant pitches. He has developed a dominant slider and that is it. His fastball when not located properly is very venerable to getting smashed(less plane) and his changeup is good, but hardly great.

I mean, the guy has alot of talent and all, but lets don't overdo him. Size is a downer for him.

OnBaseMachine
04-05-2008, 05:06 PM
The only problem is, Cueto doesn't have three dominant pitches. He has developed a dominant slider and that is it. His fastball when not located properly is very venerable to getting smashed(less plane) and his changeup is good, but hardly great.

I mean, the guy has alot of talent and all, but lets don't overdo him. Size is a downer for him.

Wrong.

Johnny Cueto has three plus pitches. Get over it man, Johnny Cueto is a better pitcher than Homer Bailey at the moment. Stop trying to make excuses and be happy that the Reds have Bailey, Cueto, and Volquez.

dougdirt
04-05-2008, 05:14 PM
Wrong.

Johnny Cueto has three plus pitches. Get over it man, Johnny Cueto is a better pitcher than Homer Bailey at the moment. Stop trying to make excuses and be happy that the Reds have Bailey, Cueto, and Volquez.

I really don't think Cueto's change up is a plus pitch. Its an above average pitch, but it doesn't look plus to me. It has good arm deception because Cueto has skills, but it doesn't move enough for me to consider it plus.

OnBaseMachine
04-05-2008, 05:18 PM
It looks awesome to me. The Arizona players were very impressed with it also, Byrnes said it sunk a lot. Definitely a plus pitch in my book. Mark Grace and Darrin Sutton also called it a plus pitch.

From a Baseball America chat yesterday:

Jeff Sullivan from Belchertown MA asks:
Did you see Cueto? Wow. I know he has electric stuff but what do you think his end of the season numbers will look like.

Yes, I did see Cueto, and he was everything we were expecting and then some. Three plus pitches, clean arm action, premium command, athleticism, an ability to miss bats… he's the real deal.

dougdirt
04-05-2008, 05:22 PM
It looks awesome to me. The Arizona players were very impressed with it also, Byrnes said it sunk a lot.

From a Baseball America chat yesterday:

Jeff Sullivan from Belchertown MA asks:
Did you see Cueto? Wow. I know he has electric stuff but what do you think his end of the season numbers will look like.

Yes, I did see Cueto, and he was everything we were expecting and then some. Three plus pitches, clean arm action, premium command, athleticism, an ability to miss bats… he's the real deal.

That just says some people think its a plus pitch. I would disagree with that, as would other scouts. I am sure there are some out there who do think its plus, but I know there are others who don't. I think it has plus potential, but I don't think its there yet. Some of his change ups do have good sink to them, but other times they are more flat but are still decently good with his great arm speed he throws it with.

OnBaseMachine
04-05-2008, 05:26 PM
After seeing the pitch this spring and then again yesterday, I have no problem calling it a plus pitch. He's made some great hitters look silly with it.

SarasotaFan
04-05-2008, 05:40 PM
The only problem is, Cueto doesn't have three dominant pitches. He has developed a dominant slider and that is it. His fastball when not located properly is very venerable to getting smashed [(less plane) and his changeup is good, but hardly great.

I mean, the guy has alot of talent and all, but lets don't overdo him. Size is a downer for him.

doesn't this apply to everyone ?? even when located properly some hitters get hits - it's just the nature of the game.

his change-up looked better than good vs the D-backs.

size is a downer for Pedro and Kazmir but they seem to do well...

Aronchis
04-05-2008, 06:05 PM
doesn't this apply to everyone ?? even when located properly some hitters get hits - it's just the nature of the game.

his change-up looked better than good vs the D-backs.

size is a downer for Pedro and Kazmir but they seem to do well...

Yep, but for some, it is easier to get away with less "command" of the zone. The reason why guys like Pedro and Kazmir(used to?) did well is because of terrific command, especially Pedro. If Cueto can command the ball at a high level consistantly, the guy will be a big time pitcher. It is just when he doesn't, smackdown. That is quite evident from Cueto's minor league time as well.

If Homer gets Cueto command, he would be top 5 pitcher of all time.

SarasotaFan
04-05-2008, 07:49 PM
Yep, but for some, it is easier to get away with less "command" of the zone. The reason why guys like Pedro and Kazmir(used to?) did well is because of terrific command, especially Pedro. If Cueto can command the ball at a high level consistantly, the guy will be a big time pitcher. It is just when he doesn't, smackdown. That is quite evident from Cueto's minor league time as well.

If Homer gets Cueto command, he would be top 5 pitcher of all time.

top 5 of all time huh ?? pretty bold statement......

Aronchis
04-05-2008, 09:44 PM
top 5 of all time huh ?? pretty bold statement......

Not really. Alot of guys could have been top 5 if they reached their full potential. Most don't. But they reach enough of it to have good careers.

M2
04-08-2008, 12:59 AM
The only problem is, Cueto doesn't have three dominant pitches. He has developed a dominant slider and that is it. His fastball when not located properly is very venerable to getting smashed(less plane) and his changeup is good, but hardly great.

Your internal stuffometer is busted. Cueto's heater is a thing of beauty, a true swing-and-miss pitch. It's not just location, though it should be noted that "when not located properly" is a patently silly complaint. Johnny Cueto is going to be properly locating pitches for his entire career. That's what he does.

And I'm not sure what else you want from a changeup. Apparently a pitch that's making everyone's jaw drop all spring doesn't impress you much.

He's going to have bad days and he'll surely discover how good major league hitters are, but a full arsenal like he's got is rare.

RedlegJake
04-08-2008, 08:55 AM
Your internal stuffometer is busted. Cueto's heater is a thing of beauty, a true swing-and-miss pitch. It's not just location, though it should be noted that "when not located properly" is a patently silly complaint. Johnny Cueto is going to be properly locating pitches for his entire career. That's what he does.

And I'm not sure what else you want from a changeup. Apparently a pitch that's making everyone's jaw drop all spring doesn't impress you much.

He's going to have bad days and he'll surely discover how good major league hitters are, but a full arsenal like he's got is rare.

I agree completely. His fastball moves and movement, not straight velocity is what makes a great fastball. One guy's 92 with movement trumps another pitchers flat 96. Cueto has 95-96 with movement -that's just ridiculous.

His changeup is very very deceptive. That's the real key to a changeup. He is still perfecting it and sometimes doesn't get the drop but that's not the problem it might be for a taller pitcher -Cueto pitches at he knees and below all the time. Tall pitchers have some advantages but also are more prone to leaving the ball up in the zone if they don't finish off their delivery completely and that's harder to do the taller you get.

Then add that nasty slider and Cueto is the real deal. Volquez, imo, has the best fb of the big 3 and his change is better, too, imo but Cueto eats his lunch when it comes to command and a great slider.

Bailey's curve is a thing of beauty when he gets it to bite but he's inconsistent and like someone observed saying his curve is overrated - it is if you're watching him when its not 'on'. Homer needs better command, more consistency with the break on his curve (if it's going to be an out pitch), and time. Volquez is a full 2 years older and Cueto is just very unusual in his command at his age. Just a year ago Texas fans were ripping Volquez the same way Bailey is getting ripped now.

Pick an apple when it's green, don't squawk that it's sour.

SarasotaFan
04-08-2008, 03:06 PM
Bailey's curve is a thing of beauty when he gets it to bite but he's inconsistent and like someone observed saying his curve is overrated - it is if you're watching him when its not 'on'. Homer needs better command, more consistency with the break on his curve (if it's going to be an out pitch), and time. Volquez is a full 2 years older and Cueto is just very unusual in his command at his age. Just a year ago Texas fans were ripping Volquez the same way Bailey is getting ripped now.

Pick an apple when it's green, don't squawk that it's sour.

I like that saying....but are you referring to granny smith apples ?? J/k.

Not really just for an "out pitch" but to locate it for strikes. You can't just throw fastball's for strikes and nothing else for strikes - you'd get ripped to shreds that way (which I think he did in one appearance in Cincinnati last year).

Arroyo is able to throw everything for strikes from different arm angles - and that's one thing that helps him keep the hitters timing / balance off key. Not saying he's the best pitcher in the world but he's crafty with what he's got.