Notes: Bailey marching to his own drum
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Homer Bailey received an unexpected perk while signing autographs on Saturday at Redsfest.
One fan handed him a bag filled with high-end men's skin-care products. Another presented him with a new shirt. He wasn't sure how the new goods would fit his needs, considering he spends much of his time out in the woods hunting.
"I've been to Kansas, Canada and south Texas numerous times. I hunted the month of November, except three days when I was traveling," Bailey said. "I'm trying to enjoy it."
Bailey's highly anticipated Major League debut came in June and lasted nine starts over two stints. The 21-year-old had mixed results, posting a 4-2 record and 5.76 ERA.
The Reds currently carry just four healthy starting pitchers with big league experience. That number should increase during the remainder of winter, with Bailey appearing to have the inside track for the No. 4 spot. General manager Wayne Krivsky said during the Winter Meetings that the pitching prospect would still have to earn a job in Spring Training.
"I think that's the way it should be," Bailey said. "I don't want to be given anything."
Since he was a first-round Draft pick in 2004, Bailey has been given goals each season from improving his mix of offspeed pitches to holding runners. Heading into a new season, he wasn't concerned about meeting people's expectations or goals.
"I don't care what people's goals for me are," he said. "If I can live up to my own expectations, then I'm by far reaching their goals. I have my goals, and that's what I stick to."