Homer Bailey took the ball today due to the suspension of Johnny Cueto. What Bailey did was cloud the picture of the Reds starting staff, if for only one day.
Bailey tossed 6 masterful innings en route to the win in a 2-0 series sweeping victory over the Florida Marlins. The best part was that Bailey didn’t allow a run and he didn’t walk a single batter. He threw 102 pitches with 71 being for strikes. A tidy pitching line.
But those that determine the Reds roster may have to take a step back and at least re-examine the situation regarding Bailey.
The original plan was for Bailey to move to the bullpen after his rehab assignment was completed. In Bailey’s last rehab appearance, he was brought in from the bullpen to see if he could adjust to the difference between warming up for a start versus warming up for a relief appearance. Bailey is known for having one of the longer pregame regimens on the team. How would the shortening of this affect his performance?
I know it’s only one start (remember how everyone was going nuts over the return of Edinson Volquez?), but Homer took the ball and proved he’s worthy of being in, at least, consideration. The situation is crowded. Very crowded. Cueto, Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, Travis Freakin’ Wood and Bailey. Aaron Harang is not far from rejoining the big boys either.
I find it hard to believe that the boat will be rocked too much. Things are going well, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Bailey makes another start or two due to the innings Leake and Wood have compiled this season. I’m a bit more worried about Leake’s innings than Wood’s as this is Leake’s first full professional season. An added bonus is that Bailey’s fresh.
Things are even better now considering the Chicago Cubs held off an admirable Cardinals 9th inning rally. The Reds are now alone atop the NL Central.