Hal McCoy reports the following on his blog:

Who starts Thursday in Philadelphia, Fogg’s turn?

Manager Dusty Baker was coy about it, but it is finally Homer Bailey time. Bailey was scheduled to pitch for the Class AAA Louisville Bats tonight and will, but is expected to pitch only two innings and take the rest of the night off.

He’ll face the Phillies Thursday in Philadelphia.

This seems to be the logical move for the Reds. Most likely the one I’d make with an eye on the future, but I’m not so sure it is a no-brainer. Consider the following.

2008     W L  ERA  G GS   IP  H  R ER HR BB SO GO/AO  AVG 
Bailey   4 4 4.05 11 11 66.2 63 31 30  6 29 54  0.99 .252 
Maloney  6 2 4.09 11 11 61.2 58 28 28  1 19 54  0.73 .252 
Thompson 4 2 1.58 11 11 68.1 48 20 12  2 16 62  0.83 .203 

Bailey   W L  ERA G GS    IP  H  R ER HR BB SO GO/AO  AVG 
April    4 2 2.29 6  6  39.1 30 10 10  4  9 32  0.76 .213 
May      0 2 6.59 5  5  27.1 33 21 20  2 20 22  1.50 .303 

Maloney  W L  ERA G GS    IP  H  R ER HR BB SO GO/AO  AVG 
April    2 1 6.65 5  5  23.0 30 17 17  0  8 24  0.61 .323 
May      4 1 2.56 6  6  38.2 28 11 11  1 11 30  0.81 .204 

Thompson W L  ERA  G GS  IP   H  R ER HR BB SO GO/AO  AVG 
CHA AA   3 2 1.76 10 10 61.1 44 19 12  2 14 56  0.87 .208 
LOU AAA  1 0 0.00  1  1  7.0  4  1  0  0  2  6  0.56 .167 

Bailey and Maloney are the two most likely callups for the 5th spot in the rotation. As you can see from the numbers above they have had very similar numbers for the season this year at AAA. The biggest difference between the two is that Maloney walks fewer batters and Bailey gives up more HRs and fly balls. Seeing that Maloney gives up fewer flyballs, he could be better suited for Great American Ballpark. Also in Maloney’s favor is that he is hot right now. Maloney and Homer have had opposite results in April and May. Maloney would also give the Reds a LH in the starting rotation. But, on the other hand, Bailey, who is two years younger, has more AAA experience than Maloney, and even some time in the Majors, which Maloney does not.

Thompson, who is 22 years old like Bailey, only has a single start above AA, but consider that Johnny Cueto seems to be doing pretty good this season with only a few starts above the AA level.

I’d have to give the nod to Bailey, like the Reds have — but it was a very close call over Maloney. Would your choice have been different?

About The Author

Tom Diesman is a Cincinnati area native and grew up in Northern Kentucky and Clermont County. He currently resides in central Indiana. Tom makes his living doing UNIX System and Storage Administration. He fell in love with baseball and the Cincinnati Reds during the Big Red Machine era, and Johnny Bench is his all-time favorite Reds player. Tom is still an avid follower of the Reds, and longs for the organization to bring winning baseball back to Cincinnati.

Related Posts

17 Responses

  1. Matt B.

    Might as well be now, though I’d rather have a lefty in the rotation. And considering those numbers, I’d take Maloney.

  2. DevilsAdvocate

    I think there is a goodly possibility that Maloney, in his first call-up to the majors in a starting role, will put up similar numbers to Phil Dumatrait in his first shot. Though Maloney’s changeup is reportedly transformed into a solid asset for him, I wouldn’t want to chance it right now.

    I saw Maloney in his last start – he was not very good early, without much command. He was lucky to only allow a couple runs in the first three innings, but then settled down after that.

    Also, Maloney is not on the 40-man so yet another move would need to be made to open a spot. Bailey & Thompson have 40-man spots, but Thompson only has 11 games above single-A. Bailey’s my choice: no doubter.

  3. Mr. Redlegs

    It’s a 40-man and rotation slot issue all de way.

  4. Kerm

    Good Point on the 40 man roster DA. I think with all of the positive energy swirling around this team, this is the opportune moment to bring up Bailey. Confidence is contagious and hopefully that helps him out.

  5. Alex

    I would have picked Maloney without question. Have you seen Bailey’s stats for May? He’s regressing to his old ways of walking wayyyyy to many batters. He doesn’t have the stuff of Volquez, so he’s not going to be able to work his way out of it most of the time.

  6. Y-City Jim

    It’s time for Homer to stand and deliver. If he does that then the Reds are in the thick of the NL Central race.

  7. Brett

    Note that with Bailey’ss outing today three groundballs were responsible for the two runs.

  8. Dave from Louisville

    Last year, could you guys have imagined that only 1 rotation spot would need to be filled, and for that spot we would be debating if Homer is the besat canidate for it?

    I am hoping for the best hopefully he’s here to stay. I think he will probably do exactly what Cueto is doing.

  9. Relient k Car

    Bailey will hit some bumps
    but he’ll be good
    look at our rotation guys!
    we’re going young!
    we have the Voltron!
    we have Cueto throwing very few tomatoes
    and now Homer giving up few homers!
    (im in a rhyming mood)

  10. DevilsAdvocate

    I’m going to try and keep in mind that all Homer has to do is outperform Fogg/Belisle. Don’t think that should be too much of a problem. I mean, 5 innings and 5 runs allowed would be a success for the 5th starter’s spot this year.

    So no pressure on Bailey: doesn’t have to be a #1 (Harang), or the only young guy in the rotation (Voltron), or debatably even bear a burden as the great hope & top pitching prospect in the organization (Cueto). And lots of AAA teammates from the past two years are making an impact in the majors, so he’s not standing alone in that regard either. Psychologically, it seems an ideal time for Bailey to slot in.

  11. Dave from Louisville

    Sportcenter has given Jay Bruce the perfect nickname….. THE BOSS

  12. Brett

    I still like Bruce Almighty the best, because if abreviated the way that FWP now means Fast Willie Parker, unknowing readers might suspect that BA stands for bad-ass, which Bruce is also.

  13. mhopp

    I guess Bailey is the best choice for now but Thompson was lights out in spring training and had an ERA of 0.57 at AA until one bad outing. He has great control, which will burn him again. He’s been terrible in May for some reason and did not pitch well tonight. It shouldn’t be hard to be better than Fogg or Belisle but I’m in hopes of seeing D. Thompson this year as I think he may have a better mindset than Bailey. As long as Jockety is willing to make the moves, we’ve got the depth, we’ll see. Oh, keep an eye on Ben Juckich as well at AA

  14. doug

    Dave from Louisville…. SC didn’t give him that nickname. Baseball America has been calling him that for the last 2.5 years. That is his nickname.

    On topic though of Homer Bailey, he threw 92-96 tonight in his short start. There wasn’t a single ball hit hard against him all night, just some bad luck on some seeing eye singles on grounders like Brett mentioned earlier. Is he ready? I don’t know, but we will find out on Thursday for sure.

    I do wonder though if he is doing what Cueto did last year…. just going through the motions until a promotion because he felt like he deserved to be somewhere else. Once Cueto had the promotion to AAA to make a fill in start, he turned it to another gear and exploded through the FSL, Southern League and International League.

  15. GregD

    Bailey was next on the Reds rotation depth chart. Maloney has pitched well, but apparently in the Reds opinion not enough to take over the 6th starter’s spot on the depth chart. If they felt Maloney was the better option, they still have moves they could have taken to free up a spot on the 40-man roster. It surely would have been easier from a rotation slot standpoint, as Maloney is scheduled to start until Tuesday. They could have just pushed him back a couple of days and not taken Homer out of the middle of a start.

    The unknown here is how much of Bailey’s May struggles were his own lack of progress or how much of it was him working on stuff, instructed to throw pitches in counts that he wouldn’t ordinarily being throwing them, etc.

  16. AnnapolisRed

    Doug-I think there is a good chance that was happening. He was bored in Louisville.