I'll Take Bailey Over Oswalt

Roy Oswalt’s agent reportedly contacted the Reds. That information and a dollar will get you a double stacker at Burger King (two beef patties, ONE piece of cheese). But because it’s the offseason and speculation is pretty much all fans have for fodder, let’s talk about Roy Oswalt being a Red.

Roy Oswalt, or more commonly known as Reds Killer Extraordinare, would definitely be serviceable wherever he winds up. But if he were to wind up at Great American Ball Park, there would be an odd man out in the rotation. As of now, that odd man out would more than likely be Homer Bailey.

What do you think of Homer Bailey? For years, he was the prodigy. His coming was more heralded in Cincinnati than Christmas was in Bethlahem. I bet if I were to ask any Reds fan if Homer has lived up to the hype, not only would I receive an aggressive no, but I’d probably be considered a dunce and have my fanhood questioned.

Homer Bailey? Or Roy Oswalt?

Give me Bailey, Alex, for 500.

Roy Oswalt’s career numbers at this juncture would be about as relevant as Rick Perry is to the GOP Primary.  So let’s take a look at Roy since, oh, say 2008.

2008 HOU 32 3 2 208.2 199 82 23 47 165 17 10 1.18 3.54
2009 HOU 30 3 0 181.1 183 83 19 42 138 8 6 1.24 4.12
2010 HOU 20 1 1 129 109 49 13 34 120 6 12 1.11 3.42
2010 PHI 13 1 1 82.2 53 16 6 21 73 7 1 0.9 1.74
2010 33 2 2 211.2 162 65 19 55 193 13 13 1.03 2.76
2011 PHI 23 0 0 139 153 57 10 33 93 9 10 1.34 3.69

Take a look at those numbers in the far right column. That’s his ERA. Observe its metamorphis over the years. He looked sharp initially upon arriving to Philly, but he quickly regressed to a plus 3 ERA.

But ERA is too easy. This isn’t amateur hour.

What’s the most important thing about pitching at GABP? Other than throwing strikes, it’s keeping the ball on the ground. From 2004-2008, Oswalt would have more than likely thrived in GABP. On second thought, when you consider the fact that he has gone a cumulative 23-3 v the Reds, he did thrive. But check out his ground ball numbers from ’04-’08: 315, 390, 346, 375, 331.

How about since ’08?

2009-2011 Ground Balls: 265, 278, 218.

Roy Oswalt doesn’t quite keep the ball on the ground as often as he used to. Infact, he doesn’t do a lot of what he used to. Everything is down. Ks through 9, K/BB ratio, etc. It’s all going down.

And if Roy were to suit up in Red, he’d be bouncing Homer Bailey, who is coming off his best year in the Bigs yet. Again, career numbers for Bailey won’t be very useful, because he’s been plagued by injuries his entire career. But consider the benchmarks he reached last year. In 2011, Homer Bailey recorded his best in the following statistical categories: ERA, WHIP, Innings Pitches, Strike Outs, Wins.

Homer doesn’t do a very good job of keeping the ball down. Roy Oswalts G/F ratio: .91. Homer Bailey’s? .76.

But the price tag for Homer Bailey is far more fiscally responsible in terms of the production he’ll provide. The Reds have Bailey on the books for $2.4 mil. Last year, Roy Oswalt raked in $16 mil.

Have we even seen Bailey at his best yet?  Is it possible the Reds really do have a potential ace currently pitching every fifth day at the end of the rotation?

Run the numbers. Cross the Ts, carry the ones. Dot the i’s. Is it worth it?

Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey MLB Roy Oswalt

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