Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey isn’t right and may never be

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds hoped Homer Bailey would return to his ace role, but he hasn’t

Homer Bailey has a history of acting like a super talented .500 pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.  Most pitchers making money like Bailey are well above .500.  Bailey, though, hasn’t produced in that way.

Bailey is 64-61 with an ERA of 4.43 in his career.  He has made 188 starts, hurling 1101 ⅓ innings.  That’s an average of nearly six innings per start.

Bailey has struck out 907 batters, while walking 364.  That’s about eight strikeouts and three walks per nine innings.  Those are respectable numbers.

That means that Bailey has averaged a record of 6-6 with 17 starts per season in his career.  He pitches about 100 innings per season on average.  His ERA and strikeout ratios remain the same.

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Bailey has surrendered 129 home runs, which once again is respectable.  His 1.35 WHIP for a starting pitcher is respectable.  In fact his career as a whole is respectable.

The problem is that he is a half season starter.  He possesses the richest contract for a pitcher in the history of the Reds’ franchise, yet he hasn’t produced.  The Reds needed him to continue to get better, but he has not.

Not only has Homer Bailey not produced for the Cincinnati Reds this season, but he has been absolutely awful.

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This season Bailey is 4-7  over 14 starts, but he has been worse than that.  His WHIP this season is 1.79 and his ERA is humungous 7.24.  Despite these atrocious numbers, the Reds continue to start Bailey every fifth day.

Bailey has only pitched 68 ⅓ innings this season.  That means that he is averaging less that five innings per start.  He also has as amazingly high walk number at 32.

Bailey just isn’t close to what he used to be.  He hasn’t gone more than six innings in any one game.  

What is more noticeable is that Bailey can’t seem to string together games with any consistency.

Bailey only has one stretch where he has pitched in three straight games when he has lasted five or more innings.  That came at the end of July when it looked like he could be recovering.  Before that he would frequently have two bad starts in a row.  Since then, Bailey has a couple of good two stretches, but never three.  It’s like he’s returned, but not really.

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The issue is that Bailey wasn’t an elite starter when he got injured, just a pitcher paid like one.  Now that he is supposedly recovering, there are signs that he will never be the six inning, .500 pitcher that he used to be.  The Reds can only hope that he can produce like a strong backend of the rotation starter next season and beyond.