A signal that there may still be some desire by the Cincinnati Reds front office and ownership to win baseball games was transmitted at midday today from Great American Ball Park:

Presumably, this means Bailey goes to the bullpen. When a similar move was announced earlier in the season, Bailey was asked if he thought he would adjust well to the new role, and he responded, “Probably not.”

“He just knows his body,” interim Manager Jim Riggleman said in a May 29 Enquirer article. “He feels like it takes him a long time to get ready. He does not envision this as something that would be a smooth transition. He’s pitched a long time, and he’s always been a starter. He’s used to a side day and a couple more days off. Everything is set up. That’s kind of where we are.”

Today’s announcement was a stunning move in the eyes of this observer. I presumed that because of the amount of money Bailey is owed over the next two seasons, he’d be sent to the mound every fifth day for the rest of this year and again next year, despite:

You can make it 19 out of 20 since that tweet. I don’t know if sending a message to the fan base that winning is important was the motivation behind today’s announcement, but it probably has had that effect in the minds of at least some in Redleg Nation. Frankly, I had resigned myself to the fact that Bailey would be pitching every fifth day until the $5 million buyout of his contract takes place after the 2019 season.

As others here have pointed out, it’s not my place to tell Bob Castellini how he needs to spend the $28 million still guaranteed to Bailey. Certainly the owner has hoped that there would be some sign of a return to at least mediocrity after all of Bailey’s years of injury and rehab, so that at least some value could be realized from the investment.

Perhaps the time has arrived when Castellini realizes that he’s paying Homer Bailey $28 million no matter what, and so maybe paying him to help lose games at a record pace isn’t the best way to utilize that asset. What happens next is anyone’s guess, frankly.

The Reds take on the Padres in the second of a four-game series tonight at GABP, with game time at 6:40 p.m. Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Brett Kennedy 25 5.76 5.19 13.6% 6.8%
Anthony DeSclafani 90.2 4.37 3.99 21.0% 6.1%

Righthander Kennedy is making his sixth major league start and first against the Reds. His first two starts in early August were ugly, allowing 11 earned runs in nine innings. Since then, his earned run average over three starts is 2.81. He has recorded more than one ground ball out per inning pitched, so that apparently is his strength.

The Reds have won six of DeSclafani’s last seven starts. The only loss was at Wrigley Field on August 23. His earned run average over that span is 3.27, which all Reds fans would certainly take over the course of a season from anyone. He is as close to a stopper as the Reds have at the moment. If this trend continues through the end of the season, there is reason to be optimistic for what DeSclafani can bring to the team over a full season in the rotation. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened since 2015.

Bullpen

Former Atlanta Brave Matt Wisler pitched two innings last night, which may exclude him from consideration tonight. All other members of the well-stocked bullpen should be at Jim Riggleman’s disposal.

Starting Lineups

Padres Reds
2B Luis Urias RF Scott Schebler
C Francisco Mejia SS Jose Peraza
LF Hunter Renfroe 1B Joey Votto
1B Eric Hosmer 2B Scooter Gennett
3B Wil Myers 3B Eugenio Suarez
RF Franmil Reyes CF Mason Williams
SS Freddy Galvis C Tucker Barnhart
CF Manuel Margot LF Phillip Ervin
P Brett Kennedy P Anthony DeSclafani

News and Notes

Do you agree with John Fay’s assessment of the current mindset of Reds fans?

On this date in Reds history …

(Do any of you out there in my age bracket remember having that particular baseball card like I do?)

Reds are tied with the Pirates for most losing seasons since 2000 …

This is a sobering wake-up call to just how bad this franchise has been in the last 18 years. Never once had I considered that the Reds would be as low as the Pirates were for so many years.

51 Responses

  1. docproctor

    I’ll bet that Homer goes to the bench, not the bullpen. In other words, we might not see him pitch again in 2018. And that’s fine by me.

    I hope that Mahle and Sims get several September starts.

  2. Steve Mancuso

    Not sure where the $53 million figure comes from. Bailey is owed $23 million next year and a $5 million opt out in 2020. That’s $28 million.

  3. CI3J

    I’m curious why we should care about how many wins/losses a starting pitcher has? It’s a team stat, and isn’t really an accurate measurement of how good or bad a pitcher has pitched other than a loose correlation that, generally, good pitchers win more often than bad pitchers.

    That said, Holy Homer! It shows not just how poorly he’s pitched, but how the team completely shuts down (or gets shut down) when he’s pitching. Partly his fault, partly bad luck.

    Still, it’s a pretty eye-opening stat of futility.

    • Jim Walker

      I think if a team is losing most of the games an individual starts that should be a red flag to take a long look at what the guy’s role in the losses has been. Does he consistently pitch short and leave with team trailing by multiple runs? If so he is not helping the team, regardless of what happens after he leaves.

    • Sliotar

      W-L isn’t valued much by MLB front offices, according to many reports in recent years.

      I posted this over in the announcement story…

      Harvey …. xFIP 4.31 …. WAR 1.2

      Bailey ….. xFIP 4.65 ….. WAR – 0.2

      One guy….”Let’s re-sign him.”

      Other guy…”Bum. Do you realize how much better we would be without his W-L record?”

      It’s curious how teams in the hunt always looking to get more help, but no one seemed to go hard after many (any) of the 2018 Reds.

      Almost like they have data that confirms this is a bad, near 100-loss club.

  4. old-school

    Homer was a tough luck loser the last 6-7 starts. 1-14 is unsightly. But that’s part of the deal on bad teams.

    The 1982 Reds finished 61-101 and had (5) 10 game losers.
    Tom Seaver was 5-13 with an ERA of 5 and 0.3 WAR.
    Poor Bruce Berenyi- 9-18 in 222 innings with an ERA of 3.36 and 4.3 WAR.

    Mario Soto- 257 innings and 274 K and 13 CG an ERA of 2.79 and 7.4 WAR.
    He was only 14-13.

  5. Sliotar

    Removing Bailey in September is low-hanging fruit, a cheap distraction.

    Just like firing Price in April was.

    In between, Riggleman “was turning Reds around”, “got guys playing hard for him”, etc.
    Remember all those articles and tweets during the summer?

    Well, past Labor Day, the Reds are in a fight to not have the worst record in the NL.

    How to bring back Riggleman now?…..make it all about Bailey at season’s end.

    Go Redlegs.

    • Jack

      Totally agree. Bailey isn’t the only one here. There is a team effort. Front office is trying to get butts in the seats. Well we aren’t that stupid Bob. The sorting is a disgrace. I wonder if not starting Billy tonight is another “look what we are doing people “. To little to late.

  6. Matt Hendley

    John fays tweet looks like the kid that showed up late to the party without being told it was cancelled

  7. Jack

    15 out of 18 years! Even I didn’t know it was that bad. I might have to go stand on a ledge.

  8. Redgoggles

    What’s the odds the Reds will even play the rest of the weekend? We are taking a youth group down tomorrow night (2 hours away), but am worried we’ll get there just in time for the Reds to cancel. Does anyone know how early the Reds generally call a game ahead of time? Stinks for us, but even worse if San Diego has to come back to Cincinnati sometime in the next couple of weeks. I would think they will try to get the games in, but the forecast doesn’t look good.

    • docproctor

      The forecast for the games this weekend is bad, worse, and call Noah. This could be a nightmare for the Reds and Padres.

      I have tix for tomorrow and it doesn’t look at all promising.

  9. Klugo

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume Bailey will go to the pen. Id be surprised if his mindset has changed on that. Just shitting him down for the season wouldn’t surprise me.

    • George

      Interesting; on WLW sports Riggleman was quoted as saying that Homer would not be relieving but will be working on his fastball, with Powers and the pitching coach.
      Looks like Homer will be back next year to show us his improved location and pitch selection.

      • Sabr Chris

        When talking about recovery from major surgery for pitchers it’s often forgotten that it takes innings, a lot of innings for them to regain their form. They are at some level relearning how to pitch.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        That is true, but Bailey’s had a year and a half. Consecutive good performances are few and far between. Every once in awhile he’ll pitch well enough to keep them in a game.

        My hunch is that he’ll still be on the roster next spring, in hopes that somehow the magic returns over the winter months.

      • Spaceman Red

        Respectfully, I do not believe that Bailey was ever a great pitcher. His career WAR is 3.8. He was a serviceable pitcher who had 2-3 decent seasons in his mid-twenties. I only mention because it was a terrible basis for giving him what has to be one of the worst contracts in team history. I was concerned even at the time.

      • Sabr Chris

        240 innings the last two seasons, and he certainly appeared to turn the corner second half of this season.
        Fangraphs has his career WAR at 14.2 Spaceman.
        Now I’m not saying he’ll return to 2012-13 Homer, but I certainly think he could be better than average starter again.
        Now if the Reds says 2019 is another year in the rebuild give him 15 more starts and see what happens. If they intend to contend then you have to move on and DFA him can’t afford to hope he improves. Would love to see him concert to a reliever but he clearly isn’t willing to try.

      • Spaceman Red

        I drew my WAR statistic from Baseball Reference.

        I just disagree that Bailey will ever be anything more than a below average pitcher for the rest of his career. As they have documented on another site:

        123 MLB pitchers have thrown at least 100 IP this year, and of them, Homer Bailey’s 6.13 ERA ranks as the absolute worst

        126 MLB pitchers have thrown at least 190 IP over the last two seasons, and of them, Homer Bailey’s 6.27 ERA ranks as the absolute worst

        184 MLB pitchers have thrown at least 210 IP over the last three seasons, and of them, Homer Bailey’s 6.31 ERA ranks as the absolute worst

        The data suggests he is not just bad, he is among the absolute worst in the game. As you point out, he STILL is not willing to convert despite his own struggles. It does not speak well to his maturity and professionalism. For the money he is getting, he should embrace any role provided to him.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I am with you on all points. Right now, Castellini is hoping for a miracle that Bailey somehow regains some of his former effectiveness so he’s not being paid $28 million to do nothing or to pitch for another team. As long as this continues, the Reds will suffer in the win column.

    • RedInIND

      Quoting Mark Sheldon on the Reds MLB site:

      Besides working on his stuff, Bailey didn’t know what was next for him.
      “We don’t do plans here,” Bailey said. “No, there’s no plan right now.”
      Will it be hard to likely sit out the rest of the season?
      “Yeah, idle minds can be a dangerous thing sometimes,” he said. “[The] last few years, I had some practice at it, so I know what I’m doing.”

  10. Matt Hendley

    Also interested in updates on delay out to b day din din with daughter

  11. Sliotar

    Chris Welsh just now on broadcast….

    “Guys not going more than 5 innings now has nothing to do with going through the lineup three times….It’s because guys are mentally beat (tired).”

    My late grandfather was one of the biggest Reds fans I have ever known. He was also a smart businessman, who tried to stay with the times, and made money buying/selling businesses well into his 70s.

    He would be thrilled at all the technology and data available today, but appalled at how the Reds organization ignores it, and thinks they are morally better by hanging on to the “old school thinking.”

    Especially when it’s now 15 losing seasons in 18 years.

  12. docproctor

    I don’t think they’re going to play baseball tonight.
    I’m worried they won’t play baseball all weekend.

    • Jim Walker

      Actually why bother? Other than the money they’d have to refund to the season ticket holders and perhaps Fox, it is probably a money losing proposition to spin up the apparatus in anticipation of playing then having to shut it down. It is not like they wouldn’t have enough empty seats in those last 5 season ending home games to cover the rain checks on individual game sales.

  13. docproctor

    Cincinnati Reds
    @Reds

    As storms continue to push through the area, we expect the delay to last for at least another 90 minutes. For those at the ballpark, we are working on plans to hold tonight’s fireworks prior to the start of tonight’s game. More information will be announced when available.
    #Reds

  14. Seat101

    I’ll be home in an hour so I can update

  15. Tom Mitsoff

    Reds say via Twitter that the game is expected to start at 9:15 p.m. Eastern time.

    • Wayne nabors

      Yes Tom I do,I had a bounty of 1970’s era baseball cards,including whole set of 75 and 76,unfortunately house fire in 1980 took most all of em

  16. Sliotar

    Day and Welsh taking about motivation at end of losing season.

    I have been watching Dodgers at Rockies during this delay….no motivation needed. Like watching a different league.

    Crowd screaming, guys going all out on every ball in play.

    I miss it.

    • Matt Hendley

      Watching this is like watching Baseball: Zombies edition

  17. BigRedMike

    Not exactly a great start.

    Not surprising that a team that has gone 4-5 seasons thinking Hamilton is a lead off hitter has 15 losing seasons in the past 18. Just imagine how bad things would be if Hamilton was not in CF.

  18. Matt Hendley

    I’M SORRY JOSE…..I’M sorry for everything I EVER SAID

  19. Seat101

    Was anyone else reminded of Bobby Tolan watching Jose Perez’s stance in that at bat?

  20. VaRedsFan

    Peraza clears the bases with a 3 run double. He should abandon hitting to right field altogether

    • Tom Mitsoff

      He often tries to pull on pitches on the inner half of the plate. Opposing pitchers very often pitch him away, and he is smart to try to take those pitches to right.

  21. Seat101

    4 hr ballgame on top of 150 minutes rain delay. Good night!

  22. TomN

    What is going on? Only Peraza can hit and drive in runs now. The Reds can’t get PADRE hitters out .Pathetic all around. Maybe the Reds should trade everyone but Peraza for a bag of balls, including Votto, and start all over. This is truly pathetic.

  23. VaRedsFan

    Finally another slam…..They’ve been stuck on 9 for months

  24. kmartin

    Schebler does his imitation of Matt Carpenter.

  25. kmartin

    I am fully aware that this is a meaningless game against a terrible team but I am actually having fun listening to the game. It feels so good. Thank you Messrs Lorenzen, Schebler, Peraza, et al.