The weather is looking terrible in Cincinnati right now. In a related story, my decision to stay home and watch on television is looking better all the time.

Anyway, Justin had some thoughts on the roster and there were a couple I agreed with one hundred percent. You should really go read the entire post, but there are a couple of highlights I wanted to note:

The consequence of this, however, is that Gomes didn’t make the team and may not agree to an assignment in Louisville. Yes, his terrible defense curtails his value, but Gomes might a better hitter than Bruce at this point in their respective careers. That sort of bat off the bench, or in a platoon in left, could be awfully valuable to a team that may struggle to put up runs. I hope he does take the assignment to AAA, because I’m sure he will get a chance to play this season.

Indeed. Even moreso, I agree with this one:

Bailey didn’t make the rotation, and was sent to Louisville rather than risk losing Nick Masset to waivers. I have to say, while I understand the move on some level, I think this sends a terrible message to Bailey. The kid clearly did everything he possibly could do, drew raves from everyone who saw him, including claims that he’d made more progress in the offseason than he had in the past two years. So what do they do? The same thing you would have done if he’d screwed off all offseason and had gotten lit up in spring training. Part of me hopes that Arroyo is, in fact, going to have to go on the DL, just so Bailey can get back to Cincinnati as soon as possible. It’s time for the guy to be on this roster, period. Keeping him down so that the Reds can keep the 7th man in the bullpen under their control leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

That’s a point I hadn’t considered. Bailey is being treated exactly as he would have been if he’d screwed around all winter and sucked this spring. Not a good message to send to the 22-year-old.

At least we still have Nick Masset!

Again, go read the entire post…and as to his last point, no, I don’t think it is legal.

5 Responses

  1. Nathan in Muncie

    I have a hard time believing the Reds and Bailey didn’t talk about the situation and come to some type of understanding. I think masset is worth attempting to keep around as he has been ‘not bad’ as far as I’m concerned and someone worth keeping around. Because Bailey has options I have no problem with this. This comes with a considerable BUT, and that but attaches to the idea that if Bailey is NOT up soon, despite what I’ve said, Cincinnati We Have a Problem.

  2. brublejr

    I think it just comes down to the fact Bailey is a starter and hasn’t dealt with being in the pen. Being in the pen is FAR different than being a starter. I have seen guys that can go only 1-2 times a week if they throw 30 or 100 pitches, didn’t matter their arms just could not recover to throw every couple of days.

  3. jinaz

    @Chad, I probably stole the 3-catcher comment from your and Bill’s podcasts, which I’ve started listening to now and then on my ipod during my commute. 🙂

    @Nathan (and in general), I’m sure they did have a good conversation with Bailey about this. But we’re dealing with a guy who is FINALLY getting where we want him to be from a maturity standpoint. And my feeling is that this is a stupid thing to do to a guy who you’re trying to encourage.

    If I were Homer, no matter what was said in that conversation, I’d be at the very least disappointed and at worst really pissed off. Opening day roster spots are definitely overrated, and I have no doubt we’ll see a lot of him this year. But I think it’s the wrong way to handle him. It probably won’t make much difference in the long term…but I still don’t like it.

    As for Masset’s experience and the peculiarities of a bullpen gig…what I’ll say is that this team won’t make or not make the playoffs based on whether they have an experienced long reliever in the bullpen. Masset just doesn’t matter very much. What could matter, however, is keeping an encouraged, hard-working Homer Bailey on the staff and exposed to big league hitters every outing early in the season. I mean, seriously, what good is going to come from him pitching effectively in AAA?

    I don’t frankly care if my long man can only pitch twice a week–you shouldn’t need him more often than that with as many pitchers as a modern team carries. As Baker himself said, there are a lot of top-flight starters that made their debut as a long man in the bullpen and spot starter before securing a full time starter job. It’s a good way to break in.

    Or heck, another choice is to option Herrera and keep both Masset and Bailey. We already have Rhodes for LOOGY duties. Some successful teams don’t carry even a single left-hander in the ‘pen.
    -j

  4. Steve Price

    Bailey belongs in the pen right now. I have no problem at all with him not winning a spot in the rotation and that going to Owings…but, no offense to Masset, but pitchers of this ilk are a dime a dozen. Yes, we can sign the wrong ones and look bad, but that’s where the scouting comes into play rather than “statistical analysis” (though that helps, too).

    Max Scherzer is a huge pitching prospect for the Diamondbacks…let’s see last year, at age 23, he started the year in the minors, but pitched great in the minors and earned his way back to the major league, well, spot-starter role. In 16 big league games, he started 7, despite always being a starter…and you know what?

    He excelled.

    3.05 ERA in 56 innings (averaging less than four inning per appearance), striking out 66 in 56 innings.

    Earl Weaver almost demanded that his starters begin their careers in the bullpen, regular work or no regular work.

    The years he didn’t was when he had a bad team…and those guys typically did not develop.

    Anybody can check this out…go to baseball-reference.com and look up the teams year by year…check out the Orioles starting around 1969 and you’ll find rookie pitchers are in the bullpen, then advance to Cy Young years as starters. (exception that I found was Jesse Jefferson…who they moved back to the bullpen trying to make the magic work).

    As for McDonald…this is sticking to plan way over the top. So, we’re emphasizing defense? Well, go with Hopper then who’s a favorite and came up in the system, rather than a minor league journeyman who had a good three weeks. Anyway…Gomes was the guy, pure and simple…if Owings is pinch hitting we need Bailey now more than ever because we’ll lose a pitcher a game this way.

    Janish over Rosales is a good move…for the opposite reason of above…we need an infield glove since we only have Phillips (I’m including Gonzalez in that statement).

    Also, I like Herrera, but sending Bray down goes back to my first paragraph above…we paid millions of dollars to Weathers and Rhodes when we had the same talent at the major league minimum in Louisville…and more available on the market.