Cincinnati Reds need Homer Bailey to be healthy in 2018

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds are desperate for a healthy Homer Bailey.

The Cincinnati Reds don’t need Homer Bailey to be an ace, but they need him to be a major league starter.  After several years of injuries the Reds need Bailey to return to health.  As the only starter on the forty man roster older than 30, Bailey isn’t the pitcher he used to be.

The Reds have plenty of prospects with starting experience from 2017.  They also have several that looked ready to start every fifth day.  On top of that they have a new ace in second year man Luis Castillo.

All of that gets back to the one thing that Bailey still rules in, experience.  Bailey has 192 career big league starts.  The other four projected starting pitchers in Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, Luis Castillo, and Michael Lorenzen have a total of 131 combined career starts, assuming they are all healthy.

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Despite all of the time lost to injuries, Bailey still has more career starts than the rest of the rotation combined.  That is something that can only be acquired through time and work.  The Reds want to see Bailey return to his earlier effectiveness, but they need him to lead the rest of the rotation through the big league pitching season.

The Cincinnati Reds have talent to support the veteran starter.

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Unlike the past few years, the Reds have the bullpen to support a version of Bailey that can only go five innings at a time.  Back in his heyday Bailey was a nine inning machine.  He has two career no hitters and six career complete games.

The Reds don’t need this version of him.  If the Reds get a version of Bailey that goes six and gives up three runs per start, they would sign-up for that right now.  It would give them a fighting chance and a chance to get into their bullpen.

The Reds’ bullpen is more of a strength than it has been in a while.  The last time it was close to this strong was when Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton were in it together.  This year’s version could be the best in the National League.  That is why the Reds can easily accept a version of Bailey that can only pitch go six innings deep.

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The Reds need Bailey’s experience, though.  He is the only starter on the roster that has more than one 30 start year in his career.  The Reds hope that at least three of their five starters can hit that number, if not all five.