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flyer85
06-24-2009, 12:59 PM
and I am not talking about a 1 or 2 start until Volquez comes back opportunity.

He may have been rushed before but his recent numbers indicate that he may is ready for success at the major league level. The number before never really gave any hope that he was ready to succeed. Just because he now has the command to succeed doesn't mean that the transition will be instantaneous. At a minimum he need to be in the rotation for an extended period of time. He has so much more upside than Owings(who is not terrible as a 5th starter).

OnBaseMachine
06-24-2009, 01:02 PM
HOMER COMING SATURDAY? The Reds have TBA listed for Saturday’s starter against Cleveland.

Is there a chance Homer Bailey will make that start?

“He could,” Jocketty said.

Bailey has been on quite the roll at Triple-A Louisville since learning to throw the split-finger fastball.

He’s 4-0 with a 0.46 ERA in his last five starts. He’s gone 38 1/3 innings, allowing 30 hits. He’s walked seven and struck out 38.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090623/SPT04/306230056/1071/Reds%20in%20market%20for%20hitter?GID=X2t4WSzkywvC XwVrKN/lG9U9iljhsevZtInRPoYpmq8%3D

flyer85
06-24-2009, 01:05 PM
HOMER COMING SATURDAY? The Reds have TBA listed for Saturday’s starter against Cleveland.

Is there a chance Homer Bailey will make that start?

“He could,” Jocketty said.

Bailey has been on quite the roll at Triple-A Louisville since learning to throw the split-finger fastball.

He’s 4-0 with a 0.46 ERA in his last five starts. He’s gone 38 1/3 innings, allowing 30 hits. He’s walked seven and struck out 38.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090623/SPT04/306230056/1071/Reds%20in%20market%20for%20hitter?GID=X2t4WSzkywvC XwVrKN/lG9U9iljhsevZtInRPoYpmq8%3DHis BB/K ratio and HR% indicate the time is now. Homer gave up a 6 homers in April but since then he has given up only 4 in~70IP. His K rate has been all year but over the last two months the BBs have plummeted.

OnBaseMachine
06-24-2009, 01:07 PM
I would've given Homer another few weeks in Louisville but it looks like he'll make the start in Cleveland on Saturday. I think if the Reds are going to bring up Homer, they need to give him more than a couple starts, no matter what the results are. When Volquez returns, push Owings to the bullpen and let Homer make 10-15 starts and then evaluate him.

Homer just needs to throw strikes and hit his spots. From I remember of his last start, the Indians didn't exactly hit him hard other than the DeRosa HR. He only allowed three hits but he walked six batters. If he throws strikes, he should have success.

nate
06-24-2009, 01:08 PM
http://www.gluethemoose.com/neen/redszone/I_Want_To_Believe_poster

alexad
06-24-2009, 01:08 PM
I agree, Homer needs to come up and see what he can do over a period of time.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2009, 01:10 PM
The odds are still very low--even with his recent success--that Homer will ever pan out in the majors. But I agree, it's definitely time to give him the most extended look he needs in the majors; this season's toast, so we might as well know whether there's anything there or not. A three month trial is a nice big snapshot for a not-so-young-anymore arm.

OnBaseMachine
06-24-2009, 01:15 PM
It would be HUGE if Homer Bailey could develop into a solid big league starter sometime soon. That would give the Reds three young starters with top-of-rotation talent in Edinson Volquez (age 25), Johnny Cueto (age 23), and Homer Bailey (age 23). Behind them you have Travis Wood (1.27 ERA, 34 BB/78 K in 92 IP at AA) and Zach Stewart (1.70 ERA, 16 BB/57 K, 2.35 GO/FO in AA) as others who could breaking into the majors sometime before 2011. Add in Aaron Harang to that group and it allows the Reds to shop Arroyo for prospects or a bat.

flyer85
06-24-2009, 01:17 PM
The odds are still very low--even with his recent success--that Homer will ever pan out in the majors. Homer has a career path that looks somewhat similar to Volquez. The one difference is it looks like Homer may have gotten his arms around the command issue .. the one thing that Volquez still struggles with.

Harang had marginal minor league numbers and it took a few seasons and until age 27 until he had success in the majors. I think the odds are pretty good Homer will find success at some point, the major issue due to his status is will he find it with the Reds or will it be a few more years before he finds it with someone else.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2009, 01:22 PM
Homer has a career path that looks somewhat similar to Volquez. The one difference is it looks like Homer may have gotten his arms around the command issue .. the one thing that Volquez still struggles with.

Harang had marginal minor league numbers and it took a few seasons and until age 27 until he had success in the majors. I think the odds are pretty good Homer will find success at some point, the major issue due to his status is will he find it with the Reds or will it be a few more years before he finds it with someone else.

Command in the minors is not reliably translatable to the majors. It can happen, but because he was able to do it in AAA is nowhere near a guarantee that he will do it in the majors.

Given his historical and consistent struggles with velocity and command, I'd rank Homer as pretty definitely a long shot.

What separates Volquez from Homer is that Volquez was able to put up a monstrous K rate in the minors; something that has basically eluded Bailey with the exception of a handful of short streaks ( a long way back in his minor league career).

NJReds
06-24-2009, 01:28 PM
The odds are still very low--even with his recent success--that Homer will ever pan out in the majors. But I agree, it's definitely time to give him the most extended look he needs in the majors; this season's toast, so we might as well know whether there's anything there or not. A three month trial is a nice big snapshot for a not-so-young-anymore arm.

If Jocketty believes what you said in the post above, wouldn't the Reds be better served using Homer as a chip in a trade now that they've shined him up in AAA.

Why expose him at the major league level if you think he's destined to fail. Makes no sense.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2009, 01:30 PM
If Jocketty believes what you said in the post above, wouldn't the Reds be better served using Homer as a chip in a trade now that they've shined him up in AAA.

Why expose him at the major league level if you think he's destined to fail. Makes no sense.

I don't think he's "destined" to fail. The right coaching and support can keep his head on straight and help him weather difficulties. And obviously, I have no idea what Jocketty really thinks about Homer.

At this point, Homer's ceiling is probably more valuable to the Reds than it is in trade, given the tightness of the trade market.

HotCorner
06-24-2009, 01:34 PM
The odds are still very low--even with his recent success--that Homer will ever pan out in the majors. But I agree, it's definitely time to give him the most extended look he needs in the majors; this season's toast, so we might as well know whether there's anything there or not. A three month trial is a nice big snapshot for a not-so-young-anymore arm.

23 years old is "not-so-young-anymore"? Yikes.

fearofpopvol1
06-24-2009, 01:35 PM
The odds are still very low--even with his recent success--that Homer will ever pan out in the majors. But I agree, it's definitely time to give him the most extended look he needs in the majors; this season's toast, so we might as well know whether there's anything there or not. A three month trial is a nice big snapshot for a not-so-young-anymore arm.

2008 was really the only year in which Homer struggled mightily for most of the year. He's had pretty good numbers otherwise...even if his command has been a bit off.

flyer85
06-24-2009, 01:38 PM
Given his historical and consistent struggles with velocity and command, I'd rank Homer as pretty definitely a long shot.
his issues may have been due more to being rushed than anything else. He was always promoted faster than his numbers suggested he should have been.

If you are a HS arm unless you have killer stuff(which is extremely rare) the process of learning how to pitch is going to take at least 4-5 years.

A kid like Greinke after his struggles over the last 3-4 years has finally figued it out. The transition is almost never smooth and linear. Homer has the stuff, his questions marks were more due to makeup and command and his minor league numbers consistently reflected him not being ready yet the Reds pushed anyway. At least, finally, his minor league numbers indicate that there is at least hope for success. Before it was nothing short of wishing for a miracle.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2009, 01:40 PM
23 years old is "not-so-young-anymore"? Yikes.

He's no longer the coddle-able 20 year old he seems to remain in some's minds. He's got to step up. So, no, it's not really young in baseball years.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2009, 01:42 PM
his issues may have been due more to being rushed than anything else. He was always promoted faster than his numbers suggested he should have been.

If you are a HS arm unless you have killer stuff(which is extremely rare) the process of learning how to pitch is going to take at least 4-5 years.

A kid like Greinke after his struggles over the last 3-4 years has finally figued it out. The transition is almost never smooth and linear. Homer has the stuff, his questions marks were more due to makeup and command and his minor league numbers consistently reflected him not being ready yet the Reds pushed anyway. At least, finally, his minor league numbers indicate that there is at least hope for success. Before it was nothing short of wishing for a miracle.

Greinke's struggles stemmed from a clear source, not a deficit in baseball ability.

flyer85
06-24-2009, 01:44 PM
So, no, it's not really young in baseball years.Harang never tasted any major league success until he was 27. The issue for the Reds is that Homer and the Reds are almost out of time. If he doesn't show anything by the end of the season it is likely he won't be a Red come 2010.

Falls City Beer
06-24-2009, 01:46 PM
Harang never tasted any major league success until he was 27. The issue for the Reds is that Homer and the Reds are almost out of time. If he doesn't show anything by the end of the season it is likely he won't be a Red come 2010.

Yeah, high school pitchers have advanced timelines. Couple that with the stupid decision to bring him up so many times and here we are.

flyer85
06-24-2009, 01:51 PM
Yeah, high school pitchers have advanced timelines. Couple that with the stupid decision to bring him up so many times and here we are.
the upside with Homer is that after this season he will be past the injury nexus(age 23) without having had a major issue and without having pitched a boatload of innings. I honestly worry about Cueto this season.

kaldaniels
06-24-2009, 02:06 PM
and I am not talking about a 1 or 2 start until Volquez comes back opportunity.

He may have been rushed before but his recent numbers indicate that he may is ready for success at the major league level. The number before never really gave any hope that he was ready to succeed. Just because he now has the command to succeed doesn't mean that the transition will be instantaneous. At a minimum he need to be in the rotation for an extended period of time. He has so much more upside than Owings(who is not terrible as a 5th starter).

I agree...he needs to stay up for awhile, unless he is sporting a 8.00 ERA after a month. He's had spectacular runs in the minors before...I'd like to see how one of those streaks plays out in the bigs...hopefully we'll get a taste of that Saturday.

redsfandan
06-24-2009, 06:07 PM
It would be HUGE if Homer Bailey could develop into a solid big league starter sometime soon. That would give the Reds three young starters with top-of-rotation talent in Edinson Volquez (age 25), Johnny Cueto (age 23), and Homer Bailey (age 23). Behind them you have Travis Wood (1.27 ERA, 34 BB/78 K in 92 IP at AA) and Zach Stewart (1.70 ERA, 16 BB/57 K, 2.35 GO/FO in AA) as others who could breaking into the majors sometime before 2011. Add in Aaron Harang to that group and it allows the Reds to shop Arroyo for prospects or a bat.
Bingo.

He's no longer the coddle-able 20 year old he seems to remain in some's minds. He's got to step up. So, no, it's not really young in baseball years.
And since this is his last option year, I think he realizes that. Let's give him enough starts to show us what he can do now. Not what he did a couple years ago when he shouldn't have even been up.

Ltlabner
06-24-2009, 06:44 PM
23 years old is "not-so-young-anymore"? Yikes.

Don't forget that 32 is the new 60.

*BaseClogger*
06-24-2009, 10:03 PM
Yeah, high school pitchers have advanced timelines.

Say what?

Falls City Beer
06-24-2009, 10:12 PM
Say what?

They tend to get promoted earlier.

*BaseClogger*
06-24-2009, 10:15 PM
They tend to get promoted earlier.

But they start lower in the minors and take longer to work their way up the ranks...

lollipopcurve
06-24-2009, 10:18 PM
Just because he now has the command to succeed doesn't mean that the transition will be instantaneous. At a minimum he need to be in the rotation for an extended period of time.

Agree 100%. Let him settle in and know he's not a short timer this time around. If he blows up over the course of a bunch of starts, stick him in the pen as a long guy and let him absorb stuff at the major league level. It all points to a spot in the rotation from the get-go next year.

MWM
06-24-2009, 10:41 PM
Geez, what's wrong with letting a guy have *sustained* success in the minors? Let him dominate the rest of the year and the first half of next. THEN bring him up to see if he's really figured things out. Anyone can have a good month or even two. He's had major struggles as recently as the beginning of this season, and now he has a few good outings and people want him brought up again. I've seen that movie before and I already know the ending. Let's try something different.

He's never learned to bounce back from a period of struggles in the minors. Where you really know if a guy has made a step forward or if he's just going through a hot stretch is by letting him have a few rocky outings and then see if he's able to recover and go back to dominating. I see nothing gained by bringing him back up.

Benihana
06-24-2009, 10:43 PM
Geez, what's wrong with letting a guy have *sustained* success in the minors? Let him dominate the rest of the year and the first half of next. THEN bring him up to see if he's really figured things out. Anyone can have a good month or even two. He's had major struggles as recently as the beginning of this season, and now he has a few good outings and people want him brought up again. I've seen that movie before and I already know the ending. Let's try something different.

He's never learned to bounce back from a period of struggles in the minors. Where you really know if a guy has made a step forward or if he's just going through a hot stretch is by letting him have a few rocky outings and then see if he's able to recover and go back to dominating. I see nothing gained by bringing him back up.

He is out of options after this season. He must stick in the major leagues beginning OD 2010 of be exposed to waivers. Hence the sense of immediacy with bringing him up and enduring the growing pains now.

Roy Tucker
06-24-2009, 11:48 PM
Let's see this Homer splitter. If he can control that, he should enjoy some early success. The second time around the league will then be the big test, but I'll be happy with any kind of success from Homer.

mbgrayson
06-25-2009, 12:42 AM
He's had major struggles as recently as the beginning of this season, and now he has a few good outings and people want him brought up again. I've seen that movie before and I already know the ending. Let's try something different.

Homer Bailey is 10th in the International League with a 2.71 ERA for the season. He has started 14 games for the Bats, and has won 8 of them. He has 82 Ks in 89.2 innings, and has a 1.27 WHIP. He has steadily improved, and of course the big news is that he has a new pitch since he was last with the Reds, a splitter that Justin Lehr taught him.

He has improved each month, even before starting to use the splitter.
April: 6.20 ERA, 20 innings, 26 Ks, .278 BAA, and .68 GO/AO rate.
May: 3.19 ERA, 31 innings, 18 Ks, .282 BAA, and 1.00 GO/AO rate.
June: 0.47 ERA, 38.1 innings, 38 Ks, .213 BAA, and 1.14 GO/AO rate.

Since the beginning of June when Homer started using the splitter, he has been dominating the IL. Rick Sweet has said he has never seen Homer pitch so well, and so did Jim Kelch (the Bats radio announcer).

Given that this is his last year in the minors without going through waivers, we need to bring him up and let him have a real chance. We have given Owings 13 starts so far, and Maloney has three with a 6.11 ERA. All I am saying, is give Homer a chance.....I have a feeling that this time he will stick.

BCubb2003
06-25-2009, 07:53 AM
He has steadily improved, and of course the big news is that he has a new pitch since he was last with the Reds, a splitter that Justin Lehr taught him.



Never mind Bailey, bring up Justin Lehr as a coach.

lollipopcurve
06-25-2009, 08:33 AM
He's never learned to bounce back from a period of struggles in the minors.

Not true. He's had some terrible outings in the minors. In the context of the expectations that have accompanied him since he was a teenager, you could say the majority of his minor league career, combined with a series of mediocre appearances in the bigs, has been a struggle. Per reports, he's made great strides this year, both in terms of his attitude and his stuff -- and he's only got 1 start in the bigs to show for it. I'd say it's time to show the kid he's earned a spot and a long leash. As others have noted, he's got to stick next year, so it makes perfect sense to begin the full apprenticeship now.

HokieRed
06-25-2009, 08:34 AM
Getting Homer Bailey to the point where he is part of the rotation next year should be, IMHO, the number one priority of this team right now. Whether he replaces Arroyo, Owings, or Volquez in next year's rotation is less important than getting him to where he's a productive reliable contributor with something like the consistency of Harang and Cueto. If I were the GM, he'd be in the rotation for the rest of this year. Period. His last run in AAA shows he's got very little more there to learn. Owings' K/BB rate is such that it suggests he's never going to be more than a marginal starter, Arroyo is declining, and Maloney looks very like a AAAA pitcher. If we're to be competitive in 2010, Homer has got to be a major part of the rotation. This team right now is going nowhere, except to about 75-87. It's time to start working Homer into next year's plan, even though that may require some pain for him and us.

REDREAD
06-25-2009, 10:02 AM
Geez, what's wrong with letting a guy have *sustained* success in the minors? Let him dominate the rest of the year and the first half of next. THEN bring him up to see if he's really figured things out. Anyone can have a good month or even two. He's had major struggles as recently as the beginning of this season, and now he has a few good outings and people want him brought up again. I've seen that movie before and I already know the ending. Let's try something different.
.

That's my take too.
The Reds need to be especially careful since this is Homer's last option year.
I'd leave him in the minors the rest of the year, even if that means suffering through Maloney until Volquez gets better.
Let's maximize his learning at AAA, because this is the last chance we have to keep him there.

I'm glad Homer learned a new pitch. However, he's ran off 5 dominating starts in the minors before.

Edit: I guess I don't understand why he has to be in the majors THIS year. He's got an option, let's use it.
I'm sure there's still plenty of stuff he can work on in the minors (like his other pitches). Let's see how he does in AAA
when word gets out that he has a splitter and the guys have seen it. Let him go through that adjustment in the minors, instead of the majors.

lollipopcurve
06-25-2009, 10:14 AM
Let's maximize his learning at AAA, because this is the last chance we have to keep him there.

He's thrown 270 innings in AAA. That's enough.

What people do not seem to understand is that there is still learning to be done in the major leagues -- look at Jay Bruce. Bailey is going to be inconsistent in the bigs -- no matter whether he gets another 5-10 starts in AAA or not. People are going to have to be patient with him at the big league level, just like they're being patient with Bruce now. The key is that the more experience Bailey gets in the big league rotation now, the better he'll be in 2010, when he has to stick.

Benihana
06-25-2009, 10:14 AM
That's my take too.
The Reds need to be especially careful since this is Homer's last option year.
I'd leave him in the minors the rest of the year, even if that means suffering through Maloney until Volquez gets better.
Let's maximize his learning at AAA, because this is the last chance we have to keep him there.

I'm glad Homer learned a new pitch. However, he's ran off 5 dominating starts in the minors before.

Edit: I guess I don't understand why he has to be in the majors THIS year. He's got an option, let's use it.
I'm sure there's still plenty of stuff he can work on in the minors (like his other pitches). Let's see how he does in AAA
when word gets out that he has a splitter and the guys have seen it. Let him go through that adjustment in the minors, instead of the majors.

Because then you don't really know what to do at the trade deadline. What's worse is you're flying blind into 2010. Even if Homer continues to dominate AAA competition all year, is there any guarantee he won't completely flop in the big leagues next year? There are many players who can absolutely dominate in AAA but just cannot translate that into major league success, and so far Homer has been one of those guys. In order to make well-informed personnel decisions that will affect the entire roster, the Reds brass needs to figure out whether Homer will be able to cross that chasm that he has been unable to up to this point in time. Granted, even if he does well in the bigs, he's not going to be lights out all year. I'd rather him get some of his growing pains out this season- when there is less at stake.

If Homer is given a rotation spot for 2010 without any more major league experience, there is no telling what could happen. As we know, it is virtually impossible to make a significant trade in the first two months of the season, so we would be stuck with whatever we had for at least that long, and by the time we could make a deal, it might be too late- for the 2010 season!

We need to figure out whether Homer Bailey can pitch in the major leagues before next April. He has nothing left to prove in the minors, it's put up or shut up time as far as I'm concerned.

Benihana
06-25-2009, 10:15 AM
He's thrown 270 innings in AAA. That's enough.

What people do not seem to understand is that there is still learning to be done in the major leagues -- look at Jay Bruce. Bailey is going to be inconsistent in the bigs -- no matter whether he gets another 5-10 starts in AAA or not. People are going to have to be patient with him at the big league level, just like they're being patient with Bruce now. The key is that the more experience Bailey gets in the big league rotation now, the better he'll be in 2010, when he has to stick.

Completely agree.

Falls City Beer
06-25-2009, 10:18 AM
But they start lower in the minors and take longer to work their way up the ranks...

Not saying it's right. I'm saying it's what happens to them. They tend to get promoted more aggressively relative to their age.

Chip R
06-25-2009, 10:33 AM
That's my take too.
The Reds need to be especially careful since this is Homer's last option year.
I'd leave him in the minors the rest of the year, even if that means suffering through Maloney until Volquez gets better.


I can't say that I'm a big Homer fan. I've seen too many of his games where he has nibbled around the strike zone so much and then has to throw something down the middle which eventually gets pounded.

But because it's his last option year, it's important to see what we have. He can kick ass in AAA all the rest of the season but that doesn't tell us how that's going to translate once he gets to the Reds. The Reds - and other teams - need to find out whether he is the real deal or not this year. Otherwise, you go to ST next year where he either has to make the team or be put on waivers. If he succeeds, the Reds can be comfortable with him making the team and other teams can be comfortable acquiring him in a trade. If he fails, the Reds can be comfortable in putting him on waivers if he doesn't impress in ST.

lollipopcurve
06-25-2009, 10:57 AM
If he fails, the Reds can be comfortable in putting him on waivers if he doesn't impress in ST.

Waivers? The only way you put him on waivers is if he sustains a catastrophic injury, and even that's debatable.

Homer will have value whether his first extended stay in a big league rotation goes well or bombs. He's 23. He's dominated AAA this year. He was rushed in earlier stints. His development has been rocky, and I suspect the organization is at least partly to blame for that. Other organizations would be eager to trade for a young arm like that. Take a look at 1st year numbers for guys like Maddux and Glavine. Giving Homer fewer "trial" innings than those guys -- and framing poor results, as those 3 guys had, as evidence that he should be jettisioned -- seems to me to be very shortsighted. His development, even if pitches in the rotation the rest of this year, will not be complete when next year begins.

Chip R
06-25-2009, 11:03 AM
Waivers? The only way you put him on waivers is if he sustains a catastrophic injury, and even that's debatable.


Since he is out of options, if he doesn't make the 25 man roster out of ST, he has to be put on waivers. If he's not claimed he can be assigned to the minors.

Benihana
06-25-2009, 11:17 AM
Since he is out of options, if he doesn't make the 25 man roster out of ST, he has to be put on waivers. If he's not claimed he can be assigned to the minors.

In the scenario where he doesn't make the rotation out of ST next year, I would think he goes to the 'pen before he goes on waivers.

However, my guess is the Reds make a decision on him before that either way- meaning this offseason they'll decide that he'll be in next year's rotation or he'll be traded before ST begins. In order to do make that informed decision, they need to see him pitch in the big leagues for a sustained period of time this season.

Roy Tucker
06-25-2009, 11:26 AM
Don't know if this got posted anywhere else... just fyi

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090617/COLUMNISTS01/906170428/1002/sports/Bailey+s+split+decision+has+foes+dazzled



Rick Bozich
Bailey's split decision has foes dazzled
June 17, 2009


When Branch Rickey described baseball as a game of inches, odds are he was talking about balls that barely clear the fence or squirt beyond an infielder's grasp.

Homer Bailey is adding another anecdote to Rickey's signature phrase. By sliding his middle finger an inch or so wider in his grip, Bailey has added a split-fingered fastball that is transforming him from just another hyped Louisville Bats prospect to the most unhittable pitcher in the International League.

Ask the Norfolk Tides.

At Louisville Slugger Field on Wednesday, the Tides became the fourth consecutive team to look utterly confused and overmatched by Bailey. He still can make the radar gun flash consistently with his magical 96mph fastball, but now he's also throwing an 88mph split-finger fastball that tumbles into the dirt as it arrives at home plate.

"The first time he threw one, my only comment was, 'Holy smokes!'" Bats manager Rick Sweet said.

Using those two pitches, plus his curveball and slider, Bailey limited the Tides to seven harmless singles in eight shutout innings in a 6-2 Louisville victory.

He started throwing the split-finger June2 at Pawtucket. He has now taunted hitters with it in four starts.

These are his statistics for those games: He has allowed one run and 24 hits (no home runs) in 311/3 innings. He has struck out 30 hitters and walked five. Opponents are batting .211 against him.

"I've had Homer three years and never seen him anywhere near as dominating, game after game after game," Sweet said. "He's controlling the best hitters in this league, absolutely controlling them with his stuff."

Credit the split-finger. Credit Bailey. But most of all, credit Bats pitcher Justin Lehr.

After four seasons of fooling nobody with his changeup, Bailey said he was charting pitches for Lehr one night. Bailey is 23, a former No.1 draft pick, a proud Texan and a guy the Cincinnati Reds expect to anchor their starting rotation. Lehr is 31, a veteran who pitched in South Korea part of last season and survives on guile.

Bailey watched Lehr confuse hitters with his split-finger pitch and asked him to show him the grip. Lehr agreed. They huddled in late May in the outfield in Scranton, Pa. When Bailey throws his fastball, he grips the ball where the seams come together. Lehr taught him to keep his index finger on the seam but move his middle finger outside the seam. That's the splitter.

Same pitching motion. Different grip. Devastating results.

"I threw one or two and (Lehr) said, 'You already have it. There's nothing to teach,'" Bailey said.

Not exactly. The folks running the Reds' farm system had to approve. Bailey said he wanted to learn it several years ago but was told that throwing the splitter could injure his shoulder or elbow. Approval denied.

Velocity has given him multiple opportunities in the big leagues, starting in 2007, but velocity was not keeping him in Cincinnati. Bailey understood he needed to deceive hitters. The splitter would be his deception.

Bats pitching coach Ted Power had to ask his supervisors for approval. Bailey said he already had made his decision.

"I said, 'Teddy, you can ask them, but I really don't care,'" Bailey said. "I'm throwing it. If they tell me, 'No,' I'm just going to throw it anyway. You can call it a changeup if you like."

We'll never know how that dispute would have been resolved. The Reds gave their OK. And now Bailey is giving hitters something to think about other than his fastball. He's also giving the Reds something to think about for their pitching rotation.

Reach Rick Bozich at (502) 582-4650 or rbozich@courier-journal.com. Comment on this column, and read his blog and previous columns, at www.courier-journal.com/bozich.

Chip R
06-25-2009, 11:28 AM
In the scenario where he doesn't make the rotation out of ST next year, I would think he goes to the 'pen before he goes on waivers.

Perhaps. But they seem to be reluctant to put him in the pen. They could have done that this year. He pitched well enough to make the roster but Masset didn't have options.


However, my guess is the Reds make a decision on him before that either way- meaning this offseason they'll decide that he'll be in next year's rotation or he'll be traded before ST begins. In order to do make that informed decision, they need to see him pitch in the big leagues for a sustained period of time this season.

I think you're pretty much right on there.

dougdirt
06-25-2009, 11:44 AM
Perhaps. But they seem to be reluctant to put him in the pen. They could have done that this year. He pitched well enough to make the roster but Masset didn't have options.



I think you're pretty much right on there.

The Reds aren't going to put Bailey on waivers. If he doesn't make the rotation next year, he will be looked at in the bullpen because they just aren't going to get rid of him. At the very least they will trade him for something else because someone will be happy to take him.

WebScorpion
06-26-2009, 01:24 AM
I can't say that I'm a big Homer fan. I've seen too many of his games where he has nibbled around the strike zone so much and then has to throw something down the middle which eventually gets pounded.


...and now that pitch down the middle drops off the table and into the dirt. Whether he throws the pitch or not, the THREAT of a splitter may be enough to make the difference for Homer. I'm going to enjoy watching him pitch this time...before our very eyes, the growth of REAL Cincinnati Reds pitchers. OMG! :eek: I'm loving it! :thumbup: Cueto, Bailey, Wood, Stewart... signed by, developed by, and playing for the Reds... talk about when pigs fly!

I agree with the sentiment about Lehr, somebody needs to let him know we'll find a job for him when he's ready to hang them up. BTW, this is also why most teams like 'veteran presence', often a young kid will listen to a guy like Lehr, Weathers, or Rhodes before he'll listen to a coach.