Welcome back, Homer!

The would-be veteran “ace” of the Reds starting pitching corps makes his 2017 big league debut this afternoon in what Reds fans hope will be the start of Bailey successfully fulfilling his multi-year deal.

Prior to the 2014 season, Bailey signed a six-year, $105-million contract. He was on his way to one of his better seasons in 2014, with a 9-5 record and 3.71 ERA when he injured himself during an August 7 start against Cleveland. The result was surgery for a torn tendon in his right forearm – the first of three surgeries in the last three years.

The second surgery was, of course, Tommy John surgery in 2015, and then he had a “clean-up” procedure done on his elbow prior to spring training this season.

The best that Reds fans can hope for at this point is for David Dewitt Bailey to return to that 2014 form without recurrence of injury. Should that happen over the remaining three and a half years of his contract, that would have to be considered a bonus.

Bailey is guaranteed $19 million this season, $21 million in 2018, and $23 million in 2019. His 2020 salary figure is $25 million, but the Reds can buy out that year at $5 million. So Homer has $20 million worth of incentive over the next two and a half years to return to the form of a pitcher who has the potential to throw a no-hitter each time out.

Starting Pitchers

Homer Bailey (2016) 23 6.65 3.28 24.3% 6.3%
Joe Ross 49.2 5.98 4.85 21.1% 4.9%

Joe Ross was sent to the minors earlier in the season to try to work out mechanical issues that were hindering his effectiveness. Upon his return to the Nationals, he’s had one good start and two sub-par starts, so who knows what to expect today? Keep in mind he is a very good hitter. He’s been used by Dusty Baker three times as a pinch-hitter, and has a double in that role.


The longest that any of the seven relievers who appeared in last night’s game went was 1.1 innings, so everyone should be available again – although multi-inning stints aren’t likely. Lisalverto Bonilla will likely be the long man if Bailey gets in trouble early.

And … just an idea here, Redleg Nation … how about Ariel Hernandez in a high-leverage, late-game situation? In 4.2 innings over three games, he’s struck out six and allowed no hits or walks. If the current thinking that the bullpen is tired is correct, why not try someone who has been perfect in mop-up situations?

Starting Lineups

Reds Nationals
CF Billy Hamilton SS Trea Turner
2B Scooter Gennett CF Brian Goodwin
1B Joey Votto RF Bryce Harper
LF Adam Duvall 1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Eugenio Suarez 2B Daniel Murphy
RF Scott Schebler 3B Anthony Rendon
SS Jose Peraza C Matt Wieters
C Tucker Barnhart CF Michael Taylor
P Homer Bailey P Joe Ross

News and Notes

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Jesse Winker’s second “cup of coffee” in the big leagues lasted a little longer than his first, but ended the same way. He was sent back to Louisville today to make room for Bailey on the 25-man roster. After the use of seven relievers last night, apparently the thought process was to keep the bullpen at nine – considering there is no way of knowing how Bailey will fare today…

Among those who liked what he saw from Luis Castillo last night was his catcher:

Non-traditional batting orders

There has been much debate at Redleg Nation about the continued use of Billy Hamilton and-or Jose Peraza and their sub-.300 on-base percentages in the leadoff positions. Other managers – notably the Cubs’ Joe Maddon – have used “non-traditional” leadoff hitters such as Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber – players who get on base but don’t necessarily have the speed to steal bases.

The trend is growing. In today’s lineup, for example, the Blue Jays have a power hitter, Jose Bautista, leading off. Batting second in today’s lineups are Aaron Hicks (Yankees), Kris Bryant (Cubs), Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) and Eric Thames (Brewers). The number of managers opting to get their top hitters more plate appearances by moving them nearer the top of the order is on the rise. The Reds’ top four in terms of on-base percentage are Joey Votto, Zack Cozart, Eugenio Suarez and Devin Mesoraco. Of course, Cozart is on the disabled list. What do you think of a mix of those four at the top of the batting order? …

SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 6: Zack Cozart #2 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds third base after hitting a solo home run against the San Diego Padres in the top on the first inning during their MLB game at Petco Park on July 6, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Speaking of Cozart, it was expected that with his fantastic start to the season, the Reds would be able to acquire a decent prospect for the free-agent-to-be before the trade deadline. But the door on that opportunity seems to be closing.

The Miami Marlins have put their shortstop, Adeiny Hechavarria, on the trade block, and the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals are supposedly among the teams making bids. The only team near contention that has lost a shortstop is the Orioles with J.J. Hardy going down, and his replacement is the good-field, no-hit Paul Janish.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Dick Williams is able to extract from another team for a few months of Cozart’s service – especially in light of the fact he has missed several games this season due to assorted injuries.

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

Join the conversation! 82 Comments

  1. Good luck Homer!

  2. True confessions…..
    I’ve never been a real fan of Homer Bailey, Sorry Steve.
    I respect Homer as a pitcher but something about him just doesn’t scream ACE.
    Here’s to Homer making me a believer, starting today!

    My wife absolutely LOVES Homer! So I guess I gotta like him good or bad. 😉

    • Being injured and out of action the last several seasons is probably the screaming you’re hearing about him not being an ace.

      But during those 2012-2013 he was as good a pitcher as any in the NL.

    • He was the third best pitcher on the staff after Ace Cueto and second ace Latos an indication of how strong those teams were and wouldn’t be the ace today if healthy after Disco and Finnegan. That said we’re stuck for two or three years, hoping for the best

  3. OK, here we go. Let’s see if we can hit like we did last night. Would be great to give Homer some support.

  4. 4 pitches…last one exactly.down.the.middle. Grab some bench Billy

  5. Scooter keeps hitting.

  6. Suarez .240 since April. He’s rolling over on everything…not driving the ball to right at all like April

    • How hard was his out to CF? I’ve only got radio and I couldn’t see it very well …

    • The other teams have WI-FI….they can usually identify your strengths and force you to adjust. I’m

  7. I agree with sending Winker to AAA. Let him get another 80-100 at bats at louisville….Let Billy get another 80-100 in the lead off hole. It’s important in this season of sorting to answer questions definitively.

    • As the armchair GM, I’d say we’ve had enough of BH in the leadoff spot. It’s getting harder and harder from my standpoint to see how the Reds keep him he reaches FA eligibility. At this point, there’s no good reason for the Reds to do anything with him regarding an extension. Just play him in CF and bat him low in the order.

      • But….if you can’t hit….you can’t hit.
        So you bat Peraza 7… The pitcher 8 and Hamilton 9?….. How does that help the Reds win?
        Billy is barely above a replacement level player…0.4 WAR and it’s almost July….this season is now about can BIlly play every day. I think not.
        Give me Winker and let Billy be the outfield equivalent of Juan Castro…he’d be a super late inning situational replacement and spot starter.
        Time to focus on starting pitching and is there anyway the Reds can win 90 games in 2018. I think not on that as well.

        • Who said you have to keep Peraza in the lineup? This being a season of sorting, who is under evaluation as well.

      • Billy has proven beyond a doubt to me that he is a great pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement. Waiting for him to become a leadoff hitter is like waiting for the earth to be flat

  8. Well this isn’t starting well for our boys … it might call for a late afternoon nap instead of the game

  9. Welcome back, Homer. Let’s think of this as your final rehab start, okay? Just work on the control.

    Said as I turned off the radio feed and went to sob in the dark in my room …

  10. In a perfect world Homer would throw 6-7 ip most of the time with a high 3s/low 4 era and somebody like the Yankees would take his contract on in the off season! We can’t afford to pay $20 mil to anyone unless they’re just a rock solid ace! Thats not really Homers fault but its the way it is.

    • Technically speaking, they can afford to pay him. What I think you mean is that they would prefer not to pay for a player who has been MIA for so long. Then again, no team wants that…

      • Its that he wasn’t that good before the injuries. They want insane over 2 no-hitters. It would be like Schebler having the 4 hr game and producing pretty well overall so big Bob gives him 100 mil. Now fans like me that sort of liked him are going to resent him if he consistently hurt or turns out to not be that good to begin with.

        • He was paid a market rate deal in early 2014. His 2012 and 2013 were both rather good. The no hitters likely had no impact.

          • 3.68 and 3.49 in 2012-13. Its just a guess but 2012-13 were post-roid and pre-2017 juice-ball seasons so I’ll say 3.60 was league average. I could be wrong. Small markets can’t pay $20 mil for average.

          • Avg MLB SP was 4.07 in 2012 and 3.87 in 2013. He was a slid #2 SP for 2 years in a row

          • Homer was a solid #3 for two years in a row. Latos was a key acquisition and a stud those two years. Maybe homer was a #2 during the two plus months Cueto was recovering on the DL.

          • He may well have been the third best on a very good Reds rotation, but there is no question he was a #2 caliber pitcher relative to the NL

        • He was solid and had great seasons in 12/13. The reds can’t pay 32 year olds based on what they did….they have to pay 24-27 year olds for what they can do.
          You can argue they should have given Leake the 80 mil deal….and I can’t argue with that….but that’s hindsight.
          I’m rooting for him

          • Just curious, how old do you think HB was when they gave him that contract?

        • If you think it was just the 2 no hitters that justified their faith in him (which by themselves are a pretty good indicator of his ability) then you weren’t paying attention.

  11. The Thom Brennaman war on Joey Votto continues. Votto hits a hard line drive to LF that the fielder makes a nice play on. Thomas says nothing. Welsh points out that the Gannett/Votto combo at the top of the order has been terrific. With the Nets at t the the batter hits a line drive that Votto leaped to catch. it was a nice play and saved at least one run. Thomas said NOTHING. Chris Welsh using replay showed how high Votto leaped to make the catch. Thomas said nothing. Along with Marty this attitude toward Votto is getting a bit ridiculous.

    • And billy swings at the first pitch and it’s a soft 58 mph looper to shortstop…..and Thom says Billy lines out to shortstop….Patrick’s batted ball data from a few days ago is worth putting on a billboard.

    • I don’t know if you have listened to the radio broadcasts much this year but Marty has been very complimentary of Votto all year. It’s probably partially because Marty sorta got burned last year with the second half that JV had, but I’ve listened to about 2/3 of the broadcasts on radio and I can’t remember him saying anything really negative about Votto. In my opinion, the difference this year from past has been notable.

      • I quit listening to the radio due to his past position toward Votto. Glad to hear he has changed his ways after eating some crow!!!

    • I agree 100%!!!!!!! Drives me absolutely nuts!! If and when I get Marty on the radio again I will blast him I promise you that.

    • could not agree more!!!!! Marty and his son need to go!!!

  12. They show like 5 diff Bryce Harper walkoffs before his last atbat last night and Prusty gives him 1 more even though Raisel is always death on righties.

    Today….he bunts a .150 hitter with 1st/3rd 1 out for another .150 hitter to drive them in 2 outs. Either squeeze or hit away….but a safety bunt there is IDIOTIC! If Peraza missed the squeeze sign then he needs to go to Lville tonite! Enough already? He’s missed several routine plays in the infield lately as well. Hernandez has been nails but they put Wood into a tie game which has been a CERTAIN fail for 2 months running now?

    I’m done with these jokers today….Prusty appears to be dumping games on purpose

  13. Price is not the reason they are losing. And an expected terrible performance by Bailey

    • Price is 5-12 in one-run games. Only an idiot would safety bunt for the 2nd out so Billy can hit w/2 outs. Has he not been watching Billy absolutely suck for over a month now? Common sense stuff!! Bailey has a .156 average….thats not that bad for a pitcher or attempt a squeeze? He should’ve pulled Arroyo 6 weeks ago instead of defending him. He’s going to get fired and then you have to defend your actions if you want another job. If Dick Williams says you have to pitcher Arroyo then a heartless worm. Resign and maintain your integrity. If he truly thought Arroyo was better then trying to develop a young arm (Reed/Bob Steve = 1 start combined) then he’s a friggin idiot. Worm or idiot? Those are your only 2 choices

      • Reed and Stephenson are busts and Reds should move on. Bailey can’t pitch either. Disco and Finnegan are injured. Garrett is looking like a maybe bust also. Romano got hurt. Reds had no pitching options

      • Agreed Indy, price should have let go last year, and he’s done nothing positive, actually been a negative, in the development of Reed Stephenson and assorted other young pitchers. Fire him yesterday….

  14. Isn’t it time for the Reds to get a real leadoff man like Winker and put him in right field with Shebler in center? A batting order of Winker, Gennett/Cozart, Votto, Duvall, Suarez, Shebler, Mesoraco and Perazo would have runners on base with a good chance to get them in. Make Hamilton the 4th. outfielder and see what he could bring in a trade.

    • Winter has not shown anything at all. He is not the answer

      • I mean Winker has not shown anything.

        • Yeah only a .399 obp at AAA. Young guys produce well at AAA and they need to play with the major league team. Esp when they’re carrying the worst hitting outfielder in baseball. I’m negative enough dude….lets not get ridiculous here. Pls add something to the conversation although I’m going back outside and enjoying this weather!

          • I have written Winker off. I don’t expect him to be any good, so i have no interest for him to get playing time.

        • True. He has had what 6 or 7 at bats this year in the majors. Thsts plenty of time to show us what he has got. They should cut ties with him now.

        • Who is the answer?

          • Senzel and Greene are the answers. Winker is not

          • Greene hasn’t played an inning of pro ball yet. How is he the answer? I really hope it works out for him and the Reds but he’s got a long way to go and who knows what kind of injury risk he may be yet.

            I like what I see in Senzel but he just arrived at AA. We have no idea how good he’s going to end up being.

          • Well I have confidence in Senzel and Greene and that is when Reds will be good again.

          • I guess what I’m asking is how do you know? You seem to be quick on the trigger with your judgments. I can appreciate your low expectation approach. The lower they are the easier the let down. But it seems like you can save yourself some angst if you’d just exercise some patience.

        • Is Hamilton the answer? If Winker, like the young pitchers, is not given a chance we’ll never know.

      • Glad you’re not the GM. How many at bats has he had at the MLB level this year?

        • Sorry I just don’t like Winker as a player and do not expect anything from him. I hope I’m wrong.

          • So you like Scott Hatteberg over the unproven Joey Votto then right?
            Hatteberg actually made a role in a movie. I doubt Billy Hamilton makes any movie roles

      • Not sure about you all, but that convinced me!

        • Tom I’m not trying to convince anyone. I just am not expecting anything from Winker.

  15. Is this the Reds team we thought we’d see this season or just a really tough stretch against some really good teams?

    • They were a 70 win team before the pitching injuries and a 60-65 team now. They take the rest of the year to figure out the starters and the fielding 8 for next year. At some point I hope I hope to see Schebler get some starts in center. They said Duvall was below average for an outfielder last year. I don’t listen to critiques until the guy plays a good amount of games at that position.

      • Duvall is rated as a negative defender as is Schebler. Granted, defensive metrics are not exact by any means

  16. It’s getting harder and harder to watch this everyday….am I the only one whose MLB.tv had been having seizures for a few weeks?

    • Seems like even MLB.tv is having a hard time witnessing these last few weeks.

  17. Embarrassing to say the least.

  18. Wow! My MLB At Bat notifications are blowing up right now. The Nats are pouring it on.

  19. I think the nats could sub the bad news bears at this point and still pull this one off

  20. No other pitcher should see the mound today except Bonilla. Somehow Price will use Hernandez

  21. On days like today, I miss Arroyo

  22. So Finnegan is set to start Monday? Hope his comeback tour starts a little better…

  23. Not even July 1st and we’re sinking like a rock. Just fast forward to late September and let’s get on with Football.

    • If The Who-Dey starts off poorly I may just hibernate til next spring

    • The predictions are pretty good that the Bengals just might win a playoff game under the Lewis regime, and if that happens, who knows?

  24. It’s now up to Feldman and Company to garner a ‘get out of town win’ against the Nats.

  25. As Elton John once sang “It’s a sad,sad situation and it’s getting more and more absurd” I’m embarrassed to be a Reds fan right now.Will it ever get better? I doubt it.
    PS If I keep hearing Thom talk about how great Dusty is and how great the 2002 Giants were I’m gonna puke!

  26. I really feel this team is in a rough stretch atm. They have showed some major promise but the bullpen is just gassed!!!! If they has even a half way decent starting rotation then this team is in the thick of things. The West Coast trips seem to be the death of all Reds squads!!!

  27. Who’d have guessed that trading away your best players every year for mediocre prospects would be a losing strategy?

  28. I’m thinking it’s almost football season.

Comments are closed.

About Tom Mitsoff

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.


2017 Reds


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