Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey continues up and down season

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After three starts for the Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey has bounced between awful and exceptional.

After two starts for the Cincinnati Reds in 2018, Bailey was 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA.  Those numbers are actually extremely respectable considering the path Bailey took to get here.  Those numbers, though, are only a small part of the story.

The third game out of the gate Bailey surrendered no hits for 5 1/3 innings.  He looked like the Bailey from four years ago.  At the end of the day, though, he only made it through six innings.

Bailey gave up two hits and a single earned run in the start.  He didn’t walk any, but he hit a batter.  More impressively for this version of Bailey, he struck out seven batters.

This season Bailey has been all about the strikes.  He has thrown at least 60% of his pitches for strikes every game.  Sixty of the 93 pitches in his third game were strikes.

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Bailey remained 0-2 after the third start, but his season long ERA dropped to 3.24.  However, he only has 12 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.  Despite this, his WHIP is still at an impressive 1.14.

Bailey has been up and down this season.  The net effect is that he looks more and more like himself.  He hasn’t been able to stay healthy in the past few years.

Homer Bailey has the potential to recapture his career for the Cincinnati Reds.

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It’s easy to forget that the up and down is who Bailey is as a pitcher.  He sometimes is near perfect and sometimes can’t keep the ball in the park.  This is the Bailey story.

For his career his is 66-65 with a 4.40 ERA.  If he loses his next decision, Bailey will be a .500 pitcher with a middle of the rotation ERA.  Of course, Bailey started Opening Day for the Reds.

What is noticeable is that his WHIP is under control.  His career WHIP is 1.35 and his current WHIP would be the second best of his twelve year career.  The main trade-off is that his strikeouts per nine innings is down a full strikeout.

The main reason for this is his current exceptionally low batting average against.  Batters are only batting .206.  His previous career low is .234.

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The Reds will continue to go up and down and Bailey also will continue to go up and down.  However, the trick here is for him to stay healthy all season long.  That and a little more up than down will be an unmitigated success for the Reds in 2018.