I was talking to my brother the other day (an Indians fan) and we were discussing the Reds in general, and Homer in particular. He threw out the theory that his new contract has made him complacent...no longer hungry. I think there is some credence to this.
Think back to 2010-2011. Homer was pretty much labeled as an injury prone, over-hyped bust. His future with not only the Reds, but as a major league pitcher, was in serious doubt.
Then in 2012-2013, while still inconsistent at times, he put together some long dominant stretches where it appeared he had blossomed into the pitcher he was hyped to be in his MiLB time. He was pitching for his career the last 2 years, and of course, the big pay day that ultimately came last winter.
I think the complacency theory has merit because I find it hard to believe that if Bailey were still looking to become a free agent after this season, that he'd be pitching like this. There's no way to get inside his mind and heart to know the truth, but I do think that it's nearly impossible to keep that same hunger after you've hit the lottery, so to speak...particularly if you don't really LOVE the game or have the desire to actually be GREAT...and I'm not sure Homer does. He seems to enjoy his hunting and farm life far more than he enjoys baseball to me.
Could just be a "slump" that he's going through, but I think this theory needs to be considered, and we all need to hope that it's not true or the Reds are in big trouble going forward with the size and length of this contract.