One of the biggest struggles for the Cincinnati Reds over the past several years has been their pitching. Whether it is starters or relievers, Reds pitchers have found ways to consistently lose games. The signing of veteran relievers like Zach Duke or Sean Doolittle seemed to offer promise, only to end in disappointment.
Recently, fans have seen trades and signings bolster the rotation and bullpen such as adding Sonny Gray and Luis Cessa. But the overwhelming majority of transactions (Heath Hembree, Nate Jones, Alex Wood) have not panned out. But, when you're talking about major disappointments, you won't find many that are greater Homer Bailey.
Homer Bailey is the most overrated pitcher in Reds history.
Homer Bailey, on the surface, would seem to be very good pitcher. The former first-round pick had two career no-hitters, but a deeper dive into Bailey's statistics will show you that he was never close to the type of pitcher he was perceived to be.
Over his 12-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, Bailey accumulated a 67-77 record while allowing a 4.56 ERA over 1,401 innings. Bailey was worth a mere 3.5 bWAR which, to put in context, is lower than Wade Miley's bWAR this season. That stat alone is ridiculous.
Bailey's best seasons were from 2012-2014 where put up a 33-27 record with an 3.63 ERA. The Texas native accumulated 491 strikeouts in those three seasons while only giving up 151 walks. During that stretch, however, Bailey gave up 62 home runs including 26 round trippers in 2012.
Bailey had struggled to keep batters off the base paths as he accumulated a career BABIP of .306 and a 12.1% home run-to-fly ball percentage. Not to mention his career walk per 9 is a 2.97. Even Bailey's xFIP (4.09) is above 4.00.
In 2012, Bailey gave up 206 hits, 97 runs, 85 earned runs and 26 homeruns which all ranked among the Top 10 in their individual categories. During the best season of Homer Bailey's career, he recorded 12 losses which was the 8th most in the league.
In the end, Bailey was traded to Los Angeles Dodgers along with shortstop Jeter Downs and pitcher Josiah Gray for outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, left-hander Alex Wood, and infielder Kyle Farmer.
Being that the Reds gave away two of their top prospects, many view that deal as a win for the Dodgers. Neither is with LA now, and Cincinnati still has Farmer on the team. By ridding themselves of Bailey's contract and poor attitude, maybe we can call it a push.