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Thread: Plenty of heat in his forecast

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Plenty of heat in his forecast
    Reds say hard-throwing Bailey can become long-awaited ace
    BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    SARASOTA, Fla. - No player is more key to the future of the Reds' franchise than Homer Bailey.

    Bailey is only 19. But he has something no one else in the organization has: the potential to develop into a front-of-the-line No. 1 starter, a guy to snap losing streaks.

    That's something the Reds haven't had since Jose Rijo was in his prime. Not coincidentally, that's the last time the club was any good over a sustained period.

    Bailey, the No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft, has made a big impression here at his first big-league camp.

    "He's going to be a good one," Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning said. "It comes to him naturally. He can't be far away."

    Can he be a No. 1 type?

    "Oh, yeah, yeah," Browning said. "He's smart. He's big and strong.

    "When he refines his three pitches - really when he's refined two of them - he's going to be a star."

    Bailey, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-hander, has pitched in two games this spring and has thrown three shutout innings. He was shaky in the first outing, walking the first two hitters he faced. But he was better the second time out. He has struck out three and allowed one hit in the three innings. He also has shattered two bats.

    Catcher Jason LaRue says Bailey's stuff is big-league right now.

    "He's legit," LaRue said. "He's got three good pitches. It's exciting to see. You don't see many guys come along with his potential."

    Bailey, from LaGrange, Texas, is not here to make the club. He knows that. He'll probably start the year at Single-A Sarasota, where the weather's suited to pitching in April, then get a bump to Double-A Chattanooga early in the season.

    Bailey thinks the experience of big-league camp will help him.

    "Just seeing the way these guys handle themselves," he said, "the way they carry themselves. The term is professional, and they live up to it."

    Bailey had not been around those kinds of players. He pitched in only six games after signing in 2004.

    So, last year was really his first professional season. He was 8-4 with a 4.43 ERA at Single-A Dayton last season. A closer look at the numbers reveals what kind of arm Bailey has. He struck out 125 and allowed 89 hits in 1032/3 innings.

    His fastball tops out at 97. He threw as hard as 96 in his second outing of the spring.

    LaRue doesn't carry a radar gun, but he knows Bailey throws harder than everyone in camp.

    "I don't know what he throws (as far as speed)," LaRue said. "But he throws hard. And whatever he throws, it's effortless. He's got great mechanics. The ball just jumps out of his hand."

    Chris Welsh, the Reds' television color analyst and a former big-league pitcher, sees the same thing: a hard fastball that comes out of Bailey's hand easy.

    "I like him," Welsh said. "In fact, I talked to Joe Randa after he faced (Bailey for Pittsburgh). He was telling me his fastball gets on you in a hurry. Keep in mind that he's 19. He's a neophyte when it comes to pitching strategy and understanding. He has everything you want in a top prospect.

    "He's the best prospect I've seen around here in a long time - maybe ever."

    Most No. 1 pitchers have a superior fastball. That's what sets Bailey apart from all the other 19- and 20-year-olds in the Reds' system.

    "The first thing you look at is his fastball," minor-league pitching coordinator Mack Jenkins said. "We haven't had a starter with a fastball like that in recent history."

    Mario Soto, like Browning here as a guest instructor, had no idea who Bailey was when Soto got to camp.

    "I didn't know he was a first-round pick," Soto said. "But when I saw him the first day, it caught my eye. Later on I found out he was a No. 1. He's got a good arm. Hopefully, two or three years from now he'll be a very big part of this team."

    Like a lot of young pitchers, Bailey has trouble controlling his stuff at times. When he gets there, Browning thinks he'll be ready.

    "He's got to harness some of that," he said.

    To harness it, Browning said, Bailey might have to trade a bit of velocity for location.

    "Those boys in the big leagues can hit a fastball down the middle," Browning said. "I'm not saying you can't throw it every now and then, but when they know it's coming, they hit it. Learn to command the strike zone. He's hungry enough that he wants to learn, he wants to get better. He's pretty sure of himself. But he handles it great."

    Bailey has shown a willingness to learn from the Reds' minor-league staff.

    "He's a professional," said minor-league field coordinator Tim Naehring. "He knows what he needs to do to get better. He's an educated guy. You can tell him to do A, B and C. Homer will do A, B and C, but he's going to ask you why.

    "He really developed the other aspects of his game last year at Dayton, holding runners on, time to the plate."

    Said Jenkins: "He wants to be good. He's not satisfied with just getting to the major leagues. He wants to be the man. His work ethic shows that."

    Bailey realizes the great expectations that are on him. But he says he feels no undue pressure.

    "The way I see it, I was a No. 1 pick almost two years ago," he said. "That's over and done with. I don't worry about that. I worry about my next outing and how I'm going to do this season."

    Bailey, whose given named is David (Homer was his great-grandfather's name), has a devastating curveball to go with the fastball.

    "He's a guy who has an above-average big-league fastball and an above-average big-league curveball at this point," Naehring said. "At this stage of the game, a lot of guys have one pitch that grades out above average for a major-league pitcher. To have two is outstanding."

    Bailey is working on a change-up as a third pitch. If it and the command come around, the Reds will have a pitcher who could help turn around the franchise.

    "The change-up is coming," Jenkins said. "As hard as he throws, it would really complement the fastball."

    So what does Bailey think? Can he be a No. 1?

    "I don't see any reason why not," he said.

    There's that self-assuredness.

    What will it take to get there?

    "Keep learning. I've got a lot to learn," he said.

    There's that willingness to work.

    Add in the top-shelf arm, and the Reds have themselves a No. 1 starter - at least potentially.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...603120443/1071

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  3. #2
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    does anyone know where the scouting video for bailey is at? i forgot how smooth his windup is and i want to show my dad

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast


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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Hey, first time I watched the video. Did anyone else think the other team was putting the bat on the ball a lot when Bailey's hitting 94-91 on the gun? Must be a pretty good hitting high school team to even get around on a guy throwing that hard in HS. Also, the ump called some of those pitches strikes and I don't think even saw them, lol.

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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Ummm... so, if his name is David Bailey, why, in the world, the nickname "Homer"?

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Well its not becuase he gives up many homers thats for sure.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Does this quote worry anyone else besides me?

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...603150379/1071

    "He's going to be a guy that's going to have high pitch counts just because people can't center it and they're going to foul a lot of balls off." - Reds manager Jerry Narron on pitcher Homer Bailey, the team's first-round draft pick in 2004.

    Now isn't Homer the type of pitcher that is supposed to make guys swing and miss?
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    Does this quote worry anyone else besides me?

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...603150379/1071

    "He's going to be a guy that's going to have high pitch counts just because people can't center it and they're going to foul a lot of balls off." - Reds manager Jerry Narron on pitcher Homer Bailey, the team's first-round draft pick in 2004.

    Now isn't Homer the type of pitcher that is supposed to make guys swing and miss?
    Of course not Chip! He's pitching to contact...
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  10. #9
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    Does this quote worry anyone else besides me?

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...603150379/1071

    "He's going to be a guy that's going to have high pitch counts just because people can't center it and they're going to foul a lot of balls off." - Reds manager Jerry Narron on pitcher Homer Bailey, the team's first-round draft pick in 2004.

    Now isn't Homer the type of pitcher that is supposed to make guys swing and miss?
    Power pitchers always struggle with throwing a lot of pitches, esp. at the major league level. No K pitcher just throws three pitches by guys. I think the comment makes sense.
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    In Cincinnati camp, it's good to be a Homer
    By Hal McCoy

    Dayton Daily News

    FORT MYERS, Fla. | Right now, he is a Homer getting as much attention as the Homer of The Iliad fame or Homer Simpson.

    As is most everybody in camp, manager Jerry Narron is awed by pitcher Homer Bailey, even after he gave up five runs (two earned) and six hits in 1 2/3 innings Monday against the Twins.

    "We made an error or he would have got out of trouble," said Narron of the Reds' No. 1 draft pick in 2004 who pitched last season for the Class A Dayton Dragons.

    "He is always going to have a high pitch count because batters can't center the bat on his pitches and foul off a lot them," said Narron. "He sure doesn't look or act like he's 19, does he?"

    Bailey probably will make another appearance Friday for the Reds, then be sent to minor-league camp. He is expected to start the season at high Class A Sarasota, where club officials hope he will dominate and get confidence, then get a quick promotion to Class AA Chattanooga.

    On Cruz control

    Jacob Cruz missed a couple of games with a tender hamstring, then pinch-hit Monday night against the Twins. He was hit on the right knee by a pitch and couldn't run.

    So he was missing in action Tuesday, unable to perform as a designated hitter against the Boston Red Sox.

    "Just when I was ready to get him back out there, he gets popped," said manager Jerry Narron.

    Literary critic

    Scott Hatteberg, a former Red Sox, hit a three-run first-inning home run against former teammate Bronson Arroyo Tuesday.

    Hatteberg not only isn't your average athlete, he isn't your average person. He is knowledgable about the arts, particularly literature and music.

    "Read The Brothers K by David James Duncan," he said. A quality read. Check it out, you'll love it."

    The Brothers K is an adaptation of Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov.

    The Bomb Squad

    Manager Jerry Narron calls the guys fighting for the last two roster spots his Bomb Squad and said, "Those guys are playing better than anybody, giving us lots of competition for the last two roster spots."

    He was referring to outfielders Andy Abad (.300), Quinton McCracken (.400), Brian Buchanan (.500 and a home Tuesday against the Red Sox) and DeWayne Wise (.444).

    "Wise is a non-roster guy who had done everything possible, everyone one needs to do, for a non-roster player to make this team," said Narron. "Abad (10 years in the Red Sox organization) has had some real good at-bats (including his first home run of the spring Tuesday against the Red Sox) and Tuffy Rhodes (.286) has given us some good at-bats. These guys have been our best players."

    Controlling Milton

    Pitcher Eric Milton's strained right calf passed a simulated game test Sunday, but he didn't have to run to cover first base, field bunts or back-up bases.

    Even though the Reds play two games Friday, split-squad appearances at Bradenton against Pittsburgh and Orlando against Atlanta, where a lot pitchers will be needed, Milton won't be one of them.

    "He'll throw another simulated game at the complex where we can control what he does," said Narron.

    General manager Wayne Krivsky is unconcerned at this point and said, "He'll have at least three starts before we break camp and that should be enough."

    Harang is/on target

    Aaron Harang's shoulder passed its test Tuesday, but now it is his right hip that stings. Harang missed his Thursday start with shoulder inflammation, but pitched two scoreless (one hit) innings against the Red Sox.

    The last out of his first inning came when Manny Ramirez ripped a line drive off his right hip. He fielded it and threw out Ramirez.

    "The adrenaline was flowing so I didn't feel it at the time, but it stung later and I have a nice red autograhped (from Bud Selig's signature on the ball) spot. I'm going to ice it down."

    Harang threw 30 pitches, then 30 more in the bullpen and said with three or four more spring starts he is on target for Opening day, if he can avoid line drives.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/sport...snotesweb.html

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    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R
    Does this quote worry anyone else besides me?

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...603150379/1071

    "He's going to be a guy that's going to have high pitch counts just because people can't center it and they're going to foul a lot of balls off." - Reds manager Jerry Narron on pitcher Homer Bailey, the team's first-round draft pick in 2004.

    Now isn't Homer the type of pitcher that is supposed to make guys swing and miss?
    In a vacuum, Narron's evaluations of players don't bother me. Most of the time, he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. Unfortunately, it's not in a vacuum. He's our manager.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

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    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine
    "Wise is a non-roster guy who had done everything possible, everyone one needs to do, for a non-roster player to make this team," said Narron. "Abad (10 years in the Red Sox organization) has had some real good at-bats (including his first home run of the spring Tuesday against the Red Sox) and Tuffy Rhodes (.286) has given us some good at-bats. These guys have been our best players."
    To anyone who doubts the worthlessness of Spring stats, I present this.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfboy
    In a vacuum, Narron's evaluations of players don't bother me. Most of the time, he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. Unfortunately, it's not in a vacuum. He's our manager.
    I'm actually taking Narron's evaluation at face value here. Narron is projecting him as a pitcher who will have high pitch counts and as a guy who will get a lot of pitches fouled off. I realize that strikeout pitchers have high pitch counts in general but he's not saying that's because he will have a lot of guys swinging and missing but rather because they will foul off a lot of pitches. I don't know, maybe there's nothing for me to worry about and maybe I'm overreacting but it still worries me nonetheless.
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  15. #14
    Member Gainesville Red's Avatar
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    Re: Plenty of heat in his forecast

    And what would he be doing in a vaccum anyways, that's crazy talk.


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