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coachw513
08-01-2008, 11:58 PM
I simply don't know enough to speculate, so I'll ask...

What is wrong with him right now??

And I'll assume we'll be able to go beyond the "he sucks", "no, he doesn't" dialogue...

A series of questions...

1. How much is it mental??
2. Is he overthinking??...underthinking??
3. Is he working on too much??...not enough???
4. Has his stuff changed for the worse??...was it/is it simply not good enough??
5. Should he be put on a "no shake-off" policy right now??...why or why not??
6. Will it/can it improve??

I "see" a guy who is trying to get command of too many pitches right now, is overthinking and needs to simplify the mental end (yes, I'd put him on the Cueto "no shakeoff policy")...I see him getting murdered on 0-2 and 1-2 pitches which to me is a process of needing to be smarter...

Due to TBS and WGN being the only games in town for me, I was "forced" to watch the development of the Braves staff (Avery, Glavine, Smoltz) and a young Greg Maddux...it took a while for them as well...

I'd LOVE some real feedback assessing where this 22 year old is relative to potential upside and continued improvement...but he clearly is shell-shocked right now, yes???

M2
08-02-2008, 12:14 AM
I'd LOVE some real feedback assessing where this 22 year old is relative to potential upside and continued improvement...but he clearly is shell-shocked right now, yes???

To a degree, yes.

I think he's grappling with a few unpleasant concepts:

1) His stuff isn't nearly as good as he thought it was.

2) Because his stuff isn't so great, baseball's a lot harder than he expected and I'm not sure that he's sure whether he wants to put that kind of work into it.

3) When you're falling apart, and he is, you get too much advice. You're suddenly worried about everything and that can cause paralysis.

I suspect the unpleasant truth for Reds fans to grapple with is even if he addresses #2 and #3 on that list, he still might be a few years away from having the requisite stuff to succeed. His pitches lack polish and his control is, charitably, poor.

The sad thing is he's only got one more option year left. Pushing him as quick as the franchise did means it can't wait until he's 25 or 26 (even if that's how long it's going to take for him to get right).

flyer85
08-02-2008, 12:19 AM
lacks command of his fastball

has no quality off speed pitch

He throws hard but his fastball is straight, he doesn't have an offspeed pitch to keep hitters honest and they wait for a mistake up and out over the plate

BuckeyeRedleg
08-02-2008, 12:48 AM
His mindset and stuff is best suited for the bullpen.

Hopefully he is a potential closer. That will justify his draft slot.

Highlifeman21
08-02-2008, 01:16 AM
1. How much is it mental??
2. Is he overthinking??...underthinking??
3. Is he working on too much??...not enough???
4. Has his stuff changed for the worse??...was it/is it simply not good enough??
5. Should he be put on a "no shake-off" policy right now??...why or why not??
6. Will it/can it improve??

1. It's very possible that none of it is mental. What I mean is that I'm not convinced Homer is intelligent, which could be a very good thing in the fact that his mind isn't getting in the way, but could directly point to the fact that he's not all that we thought he was physically.

2. I would say underthinking, given the "he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer/a couple sandwiches shy of a picnic/not the quickest car on the race track" premise I established with my answer to 1.

Although, it could mean he's also overthinking, aka taxing his mental capacity. Or, it could be the simple fact that he can only remember 2 signs when the catcher puts fingers down, and the 2nd sign is a lil fuzzy so he always thinks it looks like the 1st sign? The kid is in love with his fastball. He may not have taken it to his Junior Prom, but you can bet your butt that he sure as heck took it to his Senior Prom.

3. Homer could easily be working on too much, given the fact that I'm trying to establish that he's not a smart/intelligent human being. He may only be able to try and work at 1 pitch at a time, rather than 4. Given that his fastball is pedestrian, at best, he may be trying to work on that gem, rather than his other marginal pitches.

And it's also possible he's not working on enough b/c again, he lacks the mental capacity to accept and attempt the task at hand.

4. I'm of the opinion Homer had a fastball, and a curveball good enough to keep HS kids off the bases. Now, it's debatable that he even has a fastball. Homer may very well have been the lovechild of the PR machine that spoon and force fed us Ty Howington, Chris Gruler, and Ryan Wagner. All were supposed to have electric/filthy/nasty/fill in the blank type stuff, and Wagner's the only one that's pitched any decent amount of IP at the MLB level, albeit his results have been crappy.

Homer, to me, is essentially a 1.5 pitch pitcher, who happens to know how to grip 2 other pitches. Like I said, he only knows how to throw his fastball worth a lick, and his curveball, his change, and whatever the heck other breaking ball he's tried to throw lately (it's painful to watch). It's very possible he never had the stuff to begin with, or he lost is somewhere between draft day to the present. Regardless, his stuff is crap right now, and that's being generous. I bet most of us could catch up to his FB during a PA and take it yard. Although, I'm not convinced he wouldn't walk some of us, given his mastery of the strikezone.

5. Would you rather see Homer be forced to throw crappy pitches, or would you rather him go to his bread and butter crappy fastball? It's the lesser of 2 evils. Let the Catcher call the game, or let Homer call the game. That's how I see this playing out.

6. Homer might improve. Having him up here to appear in meaningless games is good for his development, but when you get your butt handed to you by the Nationals (of all teams... ), then you know you're just not good, and maybe professional baseball isn't in your future. We all have to hope, pray, whatever, that Homer will improve. He certainly has no where to go but up.

SMcGavin
08-02-2008, 01:29 AM
The sad thing is he's only got one more option year left. Pushing him as quick as the franchise did means it can't wait until he's 25 or 26 (even if that's how long it's going to take for him to get right).

This is the truth.

As for those who think something is "wrong" with Homer, or think that him getting knocked around now mean he is destined for the bullpen - I submit to you these numbers.

Edinson Volquez's first 46 MLB innings, compiled at ages 22 and 23:
46 IP, 26 K, 27 BB, 10 HR allowed

WVRedsFan
08-02-2008, 02:10 AM
One more thing. As a former teacher, I learned that anyone can learn to do anything if they are willing to follow the instructions of their teacher. The problem has always been getting the student to follow.

Homer has some talent, but it's not "plus" talent. What I saw tonight was a young man who had no command nor control. That's not good. Edinson learned because he was willing. I have no information on Homer other than that what I have read here. It appears he is not listening to his teachers. Those are the one who normally get a D or an F.

OnBaseMachine
08-02-2008, 02:20 AM
Homer shouldn't be in the majors in the first place. I would've left him in the minors all season long until he was proving he could consistently command his fastball and develop a better secondary pitch. Send him back to AAA and if he continues to struggle there then move him to the bullpen and see how he fares in that role.

IslandRed
08-02-2008, 03:18 AM
There's just something missing right now. I don't know if it's mental or physical or what.

It's easy to just assume his talent was overrated all along; to sum up the comments I've heard here, he has no command of anything and his fastball was never all that fast. Okay, fine, but you don't blow through the Southern League at age 20 the way he did if you're not doing something awfully right. Whatever it was, he isn't doing it now.

Not that this is a Bailey-specific comment, but I hope a pitching-coach upgrade is on Jocketty's offseason to-do list.

mth123
08-02-2008, 07:05 AM
I still think there is a plus starter in there. Unfortunately, I think the Reds messed him up (with his attitude getting an assist). He needs to go back to the fastball, curve and change. The reds introduced a slider at a fairly high level and seemed to try to break him down and start over in an attempt to gain more command. Now he still has no command, but the things he did have seemed to have been put in mothballs.

I'd tell him to go down and throw hard, throw strikes and make him learn a change-up (paging Mr. Soto). He would not be in the mix in spring IMO. He'd be at AAA to start the year and would need to dominate before even getting a sniff. The team needs to have a catcher in AAA that can really work with him. I've heard good things about Chris Kroski being that type of organizational asset behind the plate. If so, I'd make him Homer's guy. If not, I'd find some one who can do that job.

The bullpen wouldn't be an option until 2011 IMO. He should get until age 24 to learn to succeed in the rotation.

GAC
08-02-2008, 07:36 AM
I like what Welsh and Brantley stated last night.

Basically we have a kid who was AGAIN thrust into the rotation because of need and lack of alternatives. The kid possesses the repertoire of pitches; but is still trying to develop (master) one pitch - his breaking ball. And now we're seeing him having to do so while in the rotation. He seems to be "pounding the strike zone" better; but due to his inconsistency it has been brutal because of those secondary pitches, and that a majority of the time he's leaving it up in the zone.

At the beginning of the season it was "rumored" that the kid was being hard-headed and not listening to instruction. And he was relying way too much on his fastball and trying to blow guys away. OK. Maybe so. But even the most hard-headed of students will, after a while, get the message and realize, by the results seen, that he has to listen to instruction if he wants any chance of succeeding. So I don't think the above is the primary reason for Homer's current struggles.

And going into last year I listened to the coaches at Chattanooga say that developing his secondary pitches (primarily his breaking ball, and getting it to break AWAY from from lefties) was still a "work in progress" and what was holding him back.

I really do have a lot of doubts about the coaching staffs in this organization when it comes to developing pitchers. Not trying to exonerate Bailey; but I've always had my doubts on how this organization handles young pitchers.

And especially a guy like Dick Poole.

Ltlabner
08-02-2008, 10:33 AM
Bailey has tallent. To pretend that he never did, or somehow "lost it" is silly. But there's plenty of tallented kid who ended up in the dustbin of baseball history. Tallent alone doesn't cut it.

All indications are that he is arrogent and not willing to listen to instruction. I think it usually takes most pitchers by suprise when they smack into the difference between AAA and the bigs. It's not an incremental increase in difficulty, it's a quantium increase in difficulty. If you aren't willing to listen to instruction you are going to flail around. Especially if you are suddenly struggling for, likely, the first time in your young baseball life.

Another aspect is the horrific decision to call him up last year and package him as "the savior". One of Kriv's darkest moments. But if you take a tallented, but arrogent kid, and then reinforce the notion that the team "must have you", that you are "needed to save the team's season" you are going to make a big head much, much bigger.

So the kid comes to town thinking (1) he must be God's gift to baseball...that's what's he's been told all his life (2) he must be God's gift to baseball....the major league team *needs* him (3) he must be God's gift to baseball...look how he's "destroyed" minor league pitching.

This is not a recipe for a youngster to learn and grow through the pains of adjusting to major league life. The cold hard slap of real life shows up in an over reliance on a pitch that's always worked before (the fastball) or overthrowing lesser pitches that worked at lower skill levels.

The kid has tallent. Hell, on some level Corey Patterson has "tallent" when it comes to baseball (in comparison to GAC, for example). Can Homer harness his tallent and learn how to pitch, not throw, in the majors? Probably still to early to tell, but it's not looking promising right now.

If it were me, I'd take the "marine drill sargent" approach and break him down to rebuild him.

flyer85
08-02-2008, 10:38 AM
Bailey has talent.

that he does, what he lacks is an "out" pitch.

mth123
08-02-2008, 10:46 AM
Bailey has tallent. To pretend that he never did, or somehow "lost it" is silly. But there's plenty of tallented kid who ended up in the dustbin of baseball history. Tallent alone doesn't cut it.

All indications are that he is arrogent and not willing to listen to instruction. I think it usually takes most pitchers by suprise when they smack into the difference between AAA and the bigs. It's not an incremental increase in difficulty, it's a quantium increase in difficulty. If you aren't willing to listen to instruction you are going to flail around.

Another aspect is the horrific decision to call him up last year and package him as "the savior". One of Kriv's darkest moments. But if you take a tallented, but arrogent kid, and then reinforce the notion that the team "must have you", that you are "needed to save the team's season" you are going to make a big head much, much bigger.

So the kid comes to town thinking (1) he must be God's gift to baseball...that's what's he's been told all his life (2) he must be God's gift to baseball....the major league team *needs* him (3) he must be God's gift to baseball...look how he's "destroyed" minor league pitching.

This is not a recipe for a youngster to learn and grow through the pains of adjusting to major league life. The cold hard slap of real life shows up in an over reliance on a pitch that's always worked before (the fastball) or overthrowing pitches that worked at lower skill levels.

The kid has tallent. Can he harness his tallent and learn how to pitch, not throw, in the majors? Probably still to early to tell, but it's not looking promising right now.

If it were me, I'd take the "marine drill sargent" approach and break him down, and rebuild him plan.

Looks to me like that is what they did. They rebuilt him into a pitch to contact softee who solved none of his existing issues and removed his biggest strengths and now he frequently lays one in there for the hitter when he needs a strike. He needs to go back to being a high K guy IMO. I'd follow the Volquez model and live with some walks, (but I'm not sure that Bailey has the extreme GB tendencies that Volquez does to get by with so many baserunners). Command in the zone is a different issue. Bailey needs to refine that in the minors for another year. Whatever they do, I think they need somebody better than who they have in house to oversee the task.

Hire Leo Mazzone or Rick Peterson. Or Both.

Ltlabner
08-02-2008, 02:06 PM
Looks to me like that is what they did. They rebuilt him into a pitch to contact softee who solved none of his existing issues and removed his biggest strengths and now he frequently lays one in there for the hitter when he needs a strike. He needs to go back to being a high K guy IMO. I'd follow the Volquez model and live with some walks, (but I'm not sure that Bailey has the extreme GB tendencies that Volquez does to get by with so many baserunners). Command in the zone is a different issue. Bailey needs to refine that in the minors for another year. Whatever they do, I think they need somebody better than who they have in house to oversee the task.

Hire Leo Mazzone or Rick Peterson. Or Both.

Oh, I agree totally. It's a shame we have nothing but Salvation Navy type instructors, when a real, bone fide Marine Corp Dril Instructor is needed.

Yea, building him back up does imply that the person doing the building knows feeces from shiney objects.

Spring~Fields
08-02-2008, 04:15 PM
I really do have a lot of doubts about the coaching staffs in this organization when it comes to developing pitchers. Not trying to exonerate Bailey; but I've always had my doubts on how this organization handles young pitchers.

And especially a guy like Dick Poole.

Considering the Reds track record, one can understand that.

Looks like they have Bailey practicing and learning pitches at the major league level. Don't they have instructional leagues for that?

BCubb2003
08-02-2008, 05:21 PM
i've always been curious, with so many metrics in baseball, how do you measure the effectiveness of a pitching coach? Don Gullett was considered one of the bests in the game until the magic ran out, and I even heard the Yankees broadcasters praising Dick Pole. Leo Mazzone is considered one of the best of all time, but it didn't translate to Baltimore. Dave Duncan seems to be the one who makes the most difference in a pitcher's development, but how do you really know? Are other pitching coaches called on to work the miracles that Reds pitching coaches are? Are most pitching coaches simply called on to organize the pitchers' workloads without screwing them up?

M2
08-02-2008, 06:12 PM
He should get until age 24 to learn to succeed in the rotation.

I don't disagree, but it is problematic that his expiration date is now where his "don't open until" date should have been.

Given that one of Jocketty's strengths has been his ability to move flawed kids for quality talents, I'm thinking it may be another franchise that gets to see if Homer can succeed inside that narrow window.

Falls City Beer
08-02-2008, 06:38 PM
Okay, fine, but you don't blow through the Southern League at age 20 the way he did if you're not doing something awfully right. .

Are you saying that what helps you succeed in AA helps you succeed in the majors if it's repeated?

I'm pretty certain I don't agree with that.

IslandRed
08-02-2008, 07:11 PM
Are you saying that what helps you succeed in AA helps you succeed in the majors if it's repeated?

I'm pretty certain I don't agree with that.

Not exactly what I meant. What I'm saying is, it takes major talent to dominate at Double-A at age 20. Off the top of my head, I don't remember a player who did that and yet didn't have the talent to succeed in the big leagues. There are plenty of reasons why they might not succeed, but lack of innate ability usually isn't it.

edabbs44
08-02-2008, 08:38 PM
He's young. He could still be a stud. Or he could be a bust. But he is a long way off from being anything right now.

jojo
08-02-2008, 08:44 PM
Bailey has tallent. To pretend that he never did, or somehow "lost it" is silly.

Changing a young pitcher's mechanics can have a negative impact which could be considered a loss of talent.


All indications are that he is arrogent and not willing to listen to instruction.

Just watching how his mechanics have evolved under the Reds instruction makes me wonder how anyone in the organization could argue that Homer is unwilling to listen to instruction.


I think it usually takes most pitchers by suprise when they smack into the difference between AAA and the bigs. It's not an incremental increase in difficulty, it's a quantium increase in difficulty. If you aren't willing to listen to instruction you are going to flail around.

I'm one of those crazies who doesn't think a stop in AAA is a prerequisite for success in the big leagues.


If it were me, I'd take the "marine drill sargent" approach and break him down to rebuild him.

Everybody wonders where Homer's velocity has gone. Thank pitching coaches in part. If command is the Holy Grail, i'd suggest the Reds pitching instruction is Monty Python. In short, I'm a bit skeptical of awarding them the contract....

They need more Cueto's-guys who come to them with good command already and good velocity. It's difficult to screw up having Soto teach someone a change up..... :cool:

M2
08-02-2008, 10:52 PM
I'm one of those crazies who doesn't think a stop in AAA is a prerequisite for success in the big leagues.

I agree with that. Of course, I'd have a 22-year-old in AA in almost every case. If he could dominate for an entire year in AA then I might be willing to let him skip AAA the next season.


They need more Cueto's-guys who come to them with good command already and good velocity.

Yep, the Reds don't teach command, never have. It was the crux of the Cueto > Bailey case some made back when Bailey was still the anointed son.

I agree the Reds' "instruction" seemingly has Bailey going backwards, but it's fairly common to see pitchers go backward at his age. A lot of kids begin to wear down after a few years in pro ball. Bailey doesn't have technique or command to fall back on. He also doesn't have that great a frame.

He might come through this in a few years. He could fill out a bit, gain command and get some movement back on his pitches. It does happen, but it generally doesn't happen quickly.

flyer85
08-02-2008, 11:21 PM
I had always heard he had a great curveball as he was coming up through the minors ... he checked it at the door when he got to the majors. Without a quality off speed pitch he will struggle to succeed even as a reliever.

jojo
08-02-2008, 11:28 PM
I had always heard he had a great curveball as he was coming up through the minors ... he checked it at the door when he got to the majors. Without a quality off speed pitch he will struggle to succeed even as a reliever.

For a guy that had plus velocity and a plus curve, it's surreal to consider that he doesn't have an out pitch right now.

The excitement with Homer was the notion that he wouldn't need to rely upon his defense.

I think what Homer needs is, as M2 suggested, just what the Reds can't afford-time.

flyer85
08-02-2008, 11:31 PM
I think what Homer needs is, as M2 suggested, just what the Reds can't afford-time.I'd move him to the pen and have him scrap the curve and change and have him work on a slider and keep using the fastball and cutter.

The Reds are running out of time

jojo
08-02-2008, 11:49 PM
I'd move him to the pen and have him scrap the curve and change and have him work on a slider and keep using the fastball and cutter.

The Reds are running out of time

I think I'd trade him before I'd have him scrap the curve and become a pen pig.

The Reds might have to stash him in the pen if they plan on keeping him but the goal should be developing him to be a starter with out pitches.

edabbs44
08-02-2008, 11:58 PM
For all the pimping a certain individual got for the development of certain younger pitchers, I'm wondering if that same person would deserve the blame for Bailey's struggles? Just wondering...

SteelSD
08-03-2008, 01:39 AM
Well, let's see...what's wrong with Homer Bailey...

His effective velocity isn't as fast as advertised. Never was.

The command of his fastball isn't there when attempting to top out his velocity.

He has no offspeed "Out" pitch, which leaves him trying to blow non-strikes past advanced hitters.

Lacking the ability to locate, the only alternative is to have him "pitch to contact". Eww.

SMcGavin
08-03-2008, 03:04 PM
The Reds might have to stash him in the pen if they plan on keeping him but the goal should be developing him to be a starter with out pitches.

I think this could very well be what ends up happening. But right now I'd have him starting in AAA while he still can.

WebScorpion
08-04-2008, 10:28 AM
Personally, I think Edinson Volquez is a very similar case. When he was with the Rangers, he was a prospect with a ton of potential, but he never lived up to the hype. He would dominate AAA and get clobbered by Major Leaguers every time they'd call him up. There were many who thought the Rangers had rushed him and ruined him. Edinson didn't really seem to care, he just thought it was great that someone would pay him to half-heartedly do what he was gifted from birth to do...his stuff got him to the Major Leagues and that was the object wasn't it? Then the Rangers sent him to 'A ball boot camp'. It was simply a test of how badly the kid wanted the dream. Report to Minor League Spring Training; Get your hair cut, you're demoted all the way to A ball; There's a fine for missing curfew; Here's your schedule for your non-pitching days, there's a fine for missing any of the appointments. It worked for Roy Halladay, it worked for Edinson... who knows? It might work for Homer Bailey. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/basic/smug.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

There is a cure for arrogance; It's called humiliation.

Ltlabner
08-04-2008, 10:34 AM
For all the pimping a certain individual got for the development of certain younger pitchers, I'm wondering if that same person would deserve the blame for Bailey's struggles? Just wondering...

The answer to your shallow attempt at cleverness is yes. Part of the blame rests on Baileys sholders, but Wayne gets a huge black eye for calling him up after touting a "patience" approach. Casting Homer as a fire-breathing savior on the mound was a massive mistake. For all the laundry list of world-wide ills Wayne was blamed for, the handling of Bailey was a legitmate big time error.

Wayne is also to blame for making my cat sick.

M2
08-04-2008, 11:15 AM
Personally, I think Edinson Volquez is a very similar case. When he was with the Rangers, he was a prospect with a ton of potential, but he never lived up to the hype. He would dominate AAA and get clobbered by Major Leaguers every time they'd call him up. There were many who thought the Rangers had rushed him and ruined him. Edinson didn't really seem to care, he just thought it was great that someone would pay him to half-heartedly do what he was gifted from birth to do...his stuff got him to the Major Leagues and that was the object wasn't it? Then the Rangers sent him to 'A ball boot camp'. It was simply a test of how badly the kid wanted the dream. Report to Minor League Spring Training; Get your hair cut, you're demoted all the way to A ball; There's a fine for missing curfew; Here's your schedule for your non-pitching days, there's a fine for missing any of the appointments. It worked for Roy Halladay, it worked for Edinson... who knows? It might work for Homer Bailey. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/basic/smug.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

There is a cure for arrogance; It's called humiliation.

The big difference between Volquez and Bailey is stuff. Volquez throws a filthy heater and he's got that off the table changeup.

The problem Bailey's got is even if he gets his head straight, he's got a stuff problem.

Aside from that, I tend to think this whole business of "young pitchers are arrogant and need to be broken" is a crock. First off, most pro athletes possess a healthy degree of arrogance, even the "humble" ones. It comes with the territory. If you don't believe you're better than the other guy you won't be getting anywhere in the sporting world.

Second, it is simply not the case that most every pitcher under the age of 24 is being held back by an attitude problem. The attitude problem comes from organizations failing to recognize one of the most consistent patterns in baseball history. The overwhelming majority of young pitchers simply aren't physically equipped to get out major league hitters on a consistent basis. That was the problem with Halladay and Volquez. They were asked to do too much too soon.

However, I agree Homer's got some mental maturity issues. I don't think there's a rational explanation for his "groin" injuries last year (something the Reds' medical staff clearly believed wasn't a reason not to take the mound) or his summer vacation other than that the kid was freaking out. Baseball got hard for him last year and he didn't know how to handle it. It's still an open question of whether he really wants to handle it - I'm sure he thinks he does, but there's a difference between really wanting it and trying to convince yourself you want it.

And there's still the unpleasant bit about needing better stuff even if he wants it.

flyer85
08-04-2008, 11:24 AM
I think I'd trade him before ...I would have traded at the deadline, maybe he no longer has any value. The shine is gone and he looks like a pumpkin at the moment.

Unassisted
08-04-2008, 11:29 AM
The answer to your shallow attempt at cleverness is yes. Part of the blame rests on Baileys sholders, but Wayne gets a huge black eye for calling him up after touting a "patience" approach. Casting Homer as a fire-breathing savior on the mound was a massive mistake. For all the laundry list of world-wide ills Wayne was blamed for, the handling of Bailey was a legitmate big time error. I'd sooner pin that one on Castellini. It was suspected at the time that he was the one who pressed Wayne into bringing up Homer too quickly.

Chip R
08-04-2008, 01:44 PM
I'd sooner pin that one on Castellini. It was suspected at the time that he was the one who pressed Wayne into bringing up Homer too quickly.


I agree. Wayne was saying all the right things about Homer up until he was brought up. There was a lot of pressure on Wayne to bring him up.

So, does "Homered" now replace "Reithed" in the RedsZone lexicon regarding bringing up pitchers too early?

red-in-la
08-04-2008, 02:27 PM
Personally, I think Edinson Volquez is a very similar case. When he was with the Rangers, he was a prospect with a ton of potential, but he never lived up to the hype. He would dominate AAA and get clobbered by Major Leaguers every time they'd call him up. There were many who thought the Rangers had rushed him and ruined him. Edinson didn't really seem to care, he just thought it was great that someone would pay him to half-heartedly do what he was gifted from birth to do...his stuff got him to the Major Leagues and that was the object wasn't it? Then the Rangers sent him to 'A ball boot camp'. It was simply a test of how badly the kid wanted the dream. Report to Minor League Spring Training; Get your hair cut, you're demoted all the way to A ball; There's a fine for missing curfew; Here's your schedule for your non-pitching days, there's a fine for missing any of the appointments. It worked for Roy Halladay, it worked for Edinson... who knows? It might work for Homer Bailey. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/basic/smug.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org)

There is a cure for arrogance; It's called humiliation.

At last look, Bailey was not dominating AAA.......

mbgrayson
08-04-2008, 04:18 PM
I think the answer is simple. Time. Opportunities. Patience.

Bailey came into this season as the Reds #2 prospect, and the #9 prospect in MLB according to Baseball America. Here are what BA listed as his strong and weak points in their 2008 write-up of him:


Strengths: Once he was healthy again in September, Bailey was back throwing in the mid-90s with his fastball and buckling knees with his curveball. They're both already well above-average major league pitches, and he has shown the ability to take a little off his heater. He's also added a high-80s cutter to give him a pitch with more lateral movement. A natural athlete who also played basketball in high school, Bailey has excellent flexibility that's apparent in his clean, loose delivery.

Weaknesses: Bailey has no shortage of pure stuff, but he still has to refine his control and command to get big league hitters out and to work deeper into games. He threw strikes on only 58 percent of pitches in the majors and just 61 percent in Triple-A. His changeup is still below average.

So I don't think that we should give up anytime soon. I would just hate for us to trade him away for a 2nd rate prospect or two, and see him end up putting it all together for another club.

There are plenty of examples of young pitchers who get called up and struggle for several seasons before they gradually put things right.

Look at Johan Santana. His age 21 season his ERA was 6.49. At age 22, it was 4.74, and then at age 23 it was 2.99. Tom Glavine age 21 season 5.54, age 22 4.56, and now has a career ERA of 3.53 and 305 career wins.

Admittedly, Bailey's numbers so far are going the wrong direction. 2007 his ERA was 5.76, and this year it is 7.55.

Bailey's K/9 ratio is weak, 5.56/9 last year, and only 4.06/9 this year. His BB/9 have dropped EXACTLY as much as his k/9 rates this year, dropping from 5.56/9 in 2007, to 4.06 this year. Weird....his K/BB ratio is exactly the same as last year: 1.0.

I am also worried about Bailey, but I am willing to wait. This is a lost season at this point anyway. Why not let him continue to work things out and see if there is any improvement. If they demote him again, I just think it works on his head. Although it may be painful, I wonder if we should just stick with him as a starter the rest of the 2008 season. If he gets better, then we get the good pitcher we hoped for. If he doesn't, then we get a higher draft pick next June. I see no reason to give the starts to Josh Fogg....

edabbs44
08-04-2008, 09:05 PM
I'd sooner pin that one on Castellini. It was suspected at the time that he was the one who pressed Wayne into bringing up Homer too quickly.

It's almost as if WK had nothing to do with the misses and everything to do with the hits.

edabbs44
08-04-2008, 09:06 PM
The answer to your shallow attempt at cleverness is yes. Part of the blame rests on Baileys sholders, but Wayne gets a huge black eye for calling him up after touting a "patience" approach. Casting Homer as a fire-breathing savior on the mound was a massive mistake. For all the laundry list of world-wide ills Wayne was blamed for, the handling of Bailey was a legitmate big time error.

Wayne is also to blame for making my cat sick.

I don't think it was shallow. I thought it was a legit observation, since there were many that were positively giddy over how Wayne was the savior when it came to young Cincy pitching.