Cincinnati Reds: Whether you like it or not, Homer Bailey is coming back

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Ready or not Reds fans, Homer Bailey is coming back to Cincinnati. Bailey has completed his rehab stint in Louisville and will be the starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday when the Cardinals come to town.

Most Reds fans would be perfectly content if they never saw Homer Bailey pitch another game at Great American Ball Park. Unfortunately for those fans, Bailey will get the start for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night when the St. Louis Cardinals come to town.

Bailey is returning from a rehab stint with Triple-A Louisville. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a knee injury shortly after being informed of the Reds’ intentions to move him to the bullpen, a decision that didn’t sit well with Bailey.

Bailey played in seven games with the Bats, six of which were starts. During his one relief appearance in Louisville, Bailey went 2 innings, allowed only 1 hit and struck out a batter while allowing 2 walks. Over the entire 7 game period, Bailey threw 37.2 innings with a 4.78 ERA. He allowed 4 home runs, 10 walks and had 28 strikeouts.

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Homer Bailey is a polarizing figure, to say the least. His lack of production in recent years have made fans forget his two no-hitters and the dominant stretch of pitching from 2012-2014. During that time Bailey started 88 games and carried a 3.61 ERA. He struck out nearly 500 batters during those 3 seasons.

The Homer Bailey that fans are more familiar with now, is the pitcher who can’t seem to stay healthy. Since 2015, Bailey’s played in only 38 games with a record of 9-20. His 6.49 ERA is atrocious and well above his career average of 4.54.

The Reds are also on the hook for about $40 million over the next year and a half. Bailey signed a 6-year, $105 million contract in 2014, and will not be a free agent until after next season. Since getting that big contract, Bailey’s required Tommy John surgery, had bone spurs removed from his right elbow and been shelved with knee tendonitis.

With Bailey’s rehab stint complete, he’s scheduled to resume his starting role next Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Bailey hasn’t pitched in the Majors since May 28th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Reds have decided to keep Sal Romano out of the rotation for the time being, however, he will be available to pitch from the bullpen. A six-man starting rotation has not been ruled out either.

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The Reds are hoping that time away from the big leagues has given Bailey a chance to get healthy and get his mechanics straightened out. Reds fans are hoping that Bailey doesn’t screw up the good baseball and clubhouse chemistry that seems to have infiltrated this Reds team. The fans may not like it, but they better get used to it. Homer Bailey is back.