Bailey Back to Bailey?


A while back, Reds starter Homer Bailey was placed (again) on the disabled list with another issue involving his right shoulder. This shoulder was the reason Bailey began the season on the DL coming out of spring training (You remember, don’t you? We were all Googling “impingement”).

Homer didn’t exactly have a bountiful spring. It wasn’t the worst among the bevvy of Reds starters, but it was a little on the rocky side…

It is what it is: spring training. There are some many things that a pitcher needs to hone in a somewhat short timeframe.

Okay, so Homer is now getting placed on the DL while the Reds depart for Cincinnati. He would begin his first of two rehab stints in Louisville. The first stint produced some extraordinary numbers. Here’s a look at his three starts while on the first Triple-A assignment…

A remarkable turnaround, wouldn’t you say? Unhittable? Yes. We heard of how well Bailey was throwing, but when we saw these numbers, Reds fans became giddy as they were impatiently awaiting Homer’s return.

Ah, the return. Quite a good one it was, too. Pretty darn impressive as Bailey’s performances drew comparisons to Roy Halladay by Kerry right here. Not a bad one to be compared to if you ask me. Here’s the numbers from those 5 starts…

Having Bailey pitch this well was a welcome sight on many fronts. The starting staff was struggling a bit or had struggled. With Bailey pitching like we had envisioned (considering he was a 1st round pick), Reds fans were at ease with him. In fact, the fanbase was poised to relax a bit.

Then his final start in Philly. Bailey had to leave the game early with some discomfort in his throwing shoulder. And we all knew where that was leading…another DL stint. But the beneficiaries would, once again, be the Louisville Bats as rehab starts would be in Homer’s future.

But something might be a little amiss this time around…

Is this as bad as it looks? Could be, but there are a couple of pieces of info we might want to investigate…of sorts.

It is said (by some) that everyone hits at Triple-A. While that could be the case, these stats are still somewhat disconcerting especially when compared to Bailey’s first rehab stint. That leads me to my second point here.

It is also said (by those same that say the previous) that pitcher’s are normally ahead of hitters as spring training breaks. That may very well be an explanation of why Homer was so dominant during that first stint. Combine these two and it does make some sense.

Now you could play devil’s advocate on the last point and argue about how lackluster Johnny Cueto was during his rehab and look at his impressive outings since returning to the active roster. We can hope that it the same route Bailey ventures on with his outing come tomorrow. If he is the same Homer we saw when he last adorned a Reds uniform, we are looking a bit better.