Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey looks to be back on track

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

After a few lost seasons for the Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey looks ready to pitch every fifth day.

The Cincinnati Reds gave Homer Bailey the ball on Opening Day to protect young starter Luis Castillo.  Castillo looked like the best starter in camp. Bailey, however, looked like the better pitcher in his first start of the season.

In first start of the season Castillo struggled, barely lasting five innings.  He gave up six runs, including two home runs. His ERA is 10.80 and his WHIP is 1.40.

Bailey, however, had a great start.  He lasted six innings giving up just one earned run to exit the game with an ERA of 1.50.  He has a WHIP of 1.17 thanks largely to a batting average against of .182.

Bailey took the Opening Day loss, despite only walking three while striking out the same.  He also allowed four hits. The walk rate might be high, but the lower hit rate makes up for it.

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Perhaps more importantly, Bailey left the start healthy after his strong showing.  He had no issues with his health that are known. He just has to be able to keep it up for several more starts in a row to prove that it’s real.

For his second start for the Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey went against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Back in July of 2013 Bailey threw a no-hitter against the Pirates.  That is a large reason that the Reds signed him to such a large contract.  Now, he has to continue to show that he can pitch against them.

Because of the changeover in Pittsburgh, only four of the current Pirates batters have more than 10 at-bats against Bailey.  David Freese, Josh Harrison, Sterling Marte, and Jody Mercer are the four batters.  Those four are really the core of the Pirates line-up.

His first time out this season against the Pirates, Bailey couldn’t get out of the fifth.  He pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up five runs.

The Reds allowed their first unearned run of the season in the fifth thanks to an error by shortstop Jose Peraza.

Bailey, though, didn’t last five because of control and defense issues.  He only allowed one home run among his seven hits.  His control is not as much of an issue as his health issues.

Next: After all that, Cody Reed is somehow fifth starter

Bailey looks like he is slowing rounding into form.  He has to keep eating innings, though and stay healthy.  Those are the biggest needs that the Reds have on their staff.