I expect tomorrow’s Cincinnati papers to be all Homer Bailey, all the time, so let’s get the jump on it. Here’s what John Fay says:
It was interesting what Homer Bailey had to say after his one inning of work in the intrasquad game. (He walked one and gave up a bloop hit). Basically he said he threw his off-speed stuff to show the Reds’ brass he’d worked on it in the offseason.
In other words, Homer’s plan is to make the team.
Ummm…surely Fay isn’t surprised by that. Did anyone expect that Bailey would come to major league camp trying to get sent to Louisville?
Bailey on difference between his spring and Arroyo’s: “Those guys have spots locked. I know coming into the spring that one of the things they wanted to see from me was how I could control my off-speed stuff – that it was improved. If I had been in Arroyo’s place, I probably would have thrown nothing but fastballs, just get my work in.”
On his improved off-speed pitches: “I told you guys that’s something I worked in the offseason. I think all my off-speed pitches were either hit or strikes. I wasn’t quite locating my fastball. I left a few up.”
Anyway, no one should read anything into Bailey’s stat line from today’s “game”; if ever stats were meaningless, today’s the day. But there is much to be encouraged about, besides just the simple fact that one of the game’s top pitching prospects (TNSTAAPP) is a Red.
Said Bronson Arroyo:
“It’s tough being in his shoes. It’s like walking into a basketball camp and you’re going to make the team or not by shooting 10 free throws. You’re like I got to hit seven or eight. If you’re John Stockton, you can clank eight of them and doesn’t matter because they know what you can do in a game. It’s definitely more nerve-wracking for the young guys.”
We’ll try to link to as much of tomorrow’s BaileyFest as we can stomach…which will probably be a lot. It’s been a long time since the Reds have had this type of pitcher come through the organization.
UPDATE: It begins. Here’s the Reds.com article. I’m not sure how seriously we should take an article that says Bailey is fresh out of “the college ranks.”
UPDATE 2: As Bubba notes in the comments, the Dayton Daily News already has a Bailey story up. And here’s John Fay’s piece in the Enquirer, and the Associated Press has this report. Same quotes in every story, for what it’s worth.
UPDATE 3: Note that Ken Griffey, Jr., got in some fielding work today…in right field.