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.
|Homer Bailey (2016)||23||6.65||3.28||24.3%||6.3%|
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?
|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
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:
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) June 24, 2017
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? …
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.