I was at the Bats game Monday night to watch Homer Bailey’s first rehab start since being shut down in his first comeback attempt. He was slated to throw 35-40 pitches and 2 innings, but was pulled after a first inning in which he threw 25 pitches and allowed two solo home runs and a single. Bailey didn’t speak with the media today, but I asked Bats manager Delino DeShields about his performance and this is what he had to say:

“I thought he looked a little tentative tonight. I don’t think he felt the greatest. The ball wasn’t really coming out like we’re used to seeing.”

He was removed early as a precaution after the stressful inning and DeShields was clear that there was no discomfort felt by Bailey (“He’s going to be with us for a few starts”). His velocity, at least, was there, ranging from 76 – 94 and mixing in all of his pitches.

I also asked about Jesse Winker’s progress with his wrist injury and was told he would be taking swings tomorrow at which point we might know more. Remember, when he was DL’d Winker couldn’t hold a bat, so taking swings is progress.

Amir Garrett was the real story tonight, however. He threw seven innings in “relief” of Bailey, striking out five and walking two while allowing four hits and no runs. I can report that his performance was very impressive. He threw his fastball, slider, and change with velocities ranging from 78-94 and a good delivery all around.

He met with the media after the game. Garrett said that making it to Louisville was one of his goals for the year, but he doesn’t want to be a prospect. He wants to be in the big leagues. He did say he started to lose it a little in his last inning (he was saved by a couple of fine plays by Seth Mejias-Brean).

Also, you all may be glad to know that he reports that his dog will be updating his IG account very soon.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 23 Comments

  1. One inning, two home runs? Sounds like he is ready for the Reds bullpen.

  2. Would it be better to just shut Homer down for the season with zero expectation of him pitching this year? Just let him rehab and get stronger and gear up for next season at this point.

    • I think that’s extreme. The Reds are taking a slow approach with him right now, which makes sense. But his velocity was fine and there were no reports of pain. Think of it like an early-spring start. Do we really care if a pitcher gives up a couple of homers to minor league guys in spring? No. Or, if we do, we need to re-examine our priorities.

      Homer is behind, for obvious reasons. Be patient.

      • If he is out the rest of this year they may be able to get insurance $$.

        • A couple of posters responded to a question I had about insurance on Bailey and Mesoraco by saying that the premiums have gotten so high teams are not as likely to take out insurance policies on players with long term contracts than they might have been in the past. I have no idea if that is accurate or not but if it is, they may not have a policy on Homer and if they do, the $$ they collect may be minimal vs. the premium they had to pay.

      • Not extreme. It only makes sense. “If” Homer was to make a major league mound with us, he’s not going to do this club any good. It’s not like we’re going to go from worst to first because of Homer. “If” Homer makes a major league mound this season, in a regular game, the “smart” game would be only for more “rehab” purposes and not that he’s actually ready to pitch.

        I said last season Homer won’t see a major league mound in a regular season game till the AS break. Many put me down for it. With this medical/training staff, and you doubted me?

    • I think Homer coming back this year, even if it happened to be for September only, is important. It lets him, mentally, get in the right place for the offseason. He no long is ‘coming off surgery,’ he’s now ‘coming off pitching in the majors’ and his off-season program should feel more native to him.

      I don’t normally put a lot of weight on the touch-feely stuff, but I think Homer pitching this season is very, very important for his future.

  3. Jason, what is Garrett’s mound presence like in person? I remember the first time I saw Chapman in person and I was intimidated just looking at him.

    • Intimidating is a good word. He’s a big, lanky guy and the way he moves on the mound reminds me of Chapman. What’s really interesting, though, is that he doesn’t throw that hard. Though he touched 94, he mostly sat around 91 the whole night. What was really impressive was the way he changed speeds. His motion was exactly the same as far as I could tell, but the velocity drop was huge. Typically 10-14 MPH.

      • That’s very Cuetoesque. Being able to reach back and dial up that added velocity on demand can be critical and 91 for a tall, lanky, long-striding pitcher really increases the perceived velocity and reduces the reaction time for those pitch differentials. I keep hearing that Garrett profiles as a reliever, but I don’t see anything that makes the Old Cossack ever want to see him in the bullpen.

    • I saw him in the Futures Game last year but I sit up in the Mez so it’s hard to tell. He has a long stride so that may make his perceived velocity a little better. I’d have to sit down at field level to give you anything better than that as far as analysis.

  4. There is no way we trade Garrett. He could be the ace that carries the Reds. I know Steve said trade him for a top SS or OF but no way. Trade Stephenson or somebody else. This guy is tearing the leagues up to me. As for Homer I am with Patrick. Let him get his feet wet and let his mind know that his arm is alright.

    • I could understand trading some of our young stud pitching. But, if we do, get some batters back. I’m not talking about long ball. I’m talking about plate discipline, OBP, etc.

  5. When I saw that Bailey had surrendered two longballs, I knew we’d see some people on twitter climbing onto a ledge.

    Certainly, it’s not a good thing. But Homer will be making at least 4 more rehab starts before he’s called up. Probably more than that. It’s a process. I prefer that the Reds take it slow and get it right. There’s no harm in being cautious right now.

    • I would think that for the first outing, just get comfortable being back on the mound and throwing to live hitters. The rest doesn’t matter at this point as long as his arm feels ok.

  6. Hey Jason, did you ask Garrett the question I mentioned last night?


  7. I’m going to a Bats game in Indianapolis next week. Will be interesting to see some of these up-and-coming young players in person.

    • same here, I plan on going to the Wednesday afternoon game with a buddy who is a pirates fan. its an annual tradition. might be last chance to see top kids on both teams at AAA.

  8. I saw Garrett pitch his last game in Pensacola. I told my daughter he would be gone soon. Sure enough, promoted next day. Bright future for that kid.

  9. I live in Pensacola and have seen Garrett pitch several times and he is the real deal. I do not think the Reds should trade him. I do not know if he is an ace, but he is close. As for the suggestion that the Reds should hold onto Rookie Davis, not if he cannot find the strike zone more. I have seen him twice and he gets into a lot of full counts and has sat at 91.

  10. I stated last year Homer wasn’t going to be back on a major league mound by the AS break this year. It looks like I was right. Given how that sounded, I would have to say don’t count on him this year. If he does come up to the big club, just make it for therapy, essentially. He’s not going to be some all-time cure for this team. There’s no need for him to come back right now. Just let him get stronger and make sure he’s ready for next season, when he will get injured again.

Comments are closed.

About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.


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