Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey is destined to start in 2018

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After coming back from yet another injury, the Cincinnati Reds will either start Homer Bailey in 2018 or return him to the DL.

Homer Bailey missed the first two and a half months for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017.  This comes a season after the only month he pitched in for 2016 was August (and July 31).  That’s after only making two April starts in 2015 for the Reds.  We’ve been having this conversation since 2014.

You’d have to go all of the way back to 2013 for the last time that Bailey made it through a season in one piece.  That year the Reds made it to the wild card playoff game.  The last time that Bailey pitched a whole season was the last time the Reds made the playoffs.

Now, four years later, Bailey will either start or head back to the DL trying.  There is little incentive for the Reds to turn Bailey into a reliever.  Insurance will pay Bailey if he is injured, but the Reds must pay him if he is healthy in the bullpen.

The problem is that Bailey has not been a solid starter for the past four years.  He has averaged four wins a season coming from an average of twelve starts a season.  The comes from less than 70 innings pitched per season.  He didn’t look right for most of 2017.

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In September Homer Bailey finally resembled an MLB starter for the Cincinnati Reds.

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Over the month of the September, Bailey showed why he is destined to start.  Over the last month of the season Bailey made five starts.  Those five starts covered 28 2/3 innings and resulted in a 2-2 record.

Bailey only surrendered two home runs to the  opposition.  He also had his lowest monthly WHIP of the year at 1.33.  This is partly due to Bailey’s low walk number of ten for the entire month.

Bailey’s ERA was also a respectable 4.08.

That combined with Bailey only allowing 28 hits and the month was decent.  It could be considered his only decent month since the end of 2013.

Because of his injury history no serious consideration has been given to moving Bailey to the bullpen lately.  There was talk in the past of making Bailey a closer.  This was mostly due to limiting the amount of inflammation that is caused when starting a game.

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Bailey is going to be with the Reds in 2018.  No other team will pay anywhere close to what the Reds would need to make moving him feasible.  The Reds need to be comfortable with Bailey in the rotation for the long haul.