Fast-forward a month, and you're at the end of August. The Reds are still in the thick of a playoff chase, and you know that playoff rosters have to be set by August 31st. Meanwhile, Homer Bailey continues to dominate AA batters down in Chattanooga, and the minor league seasons are close to wrapping up.
You remember Francisco Rodriguez in the 2002 playoffs. K-Rod, as we call him, appeared in five regular season games in 2002, totaling 5.2 innings. In the playoffs, he appeared in 11 games, totaling 18.2 innings. When it was all over, K-Rod appeared in 16 games and pitched 24.1 innings for the Angels in 2002 combined in the regular season and playoffs. You also remember that in those 18.2 playoff innings, Rodriguez was a late inning stopper and flame-thrower that none of the Angels' playoff opponents figured out.
You wonder if Homer Bailey could be that same relief stopper and bullpen flame-thrower for the Reds in 2006 that Rodriguez was for the Angels in 2002. If you're Wayne Krivsky, what do you do with Homer Bailey down the stretch?
Do you let Bailey finish the season in Chattanooga and shut him down when the AA season concludes? Or do you bring him up for the final month, get him on a playoff roster by August 31st and utilize him in the same manner that the Angels did with Rodriguez in 2002? Remember, Rodriguez pitched in 16 games, totaling 24.1 innings, so that's a ballpark neighborhood of the workload you'd be looking at for Bailey in a Reds uniform in 2006 under this scenario.