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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

I'd bring up Homer; what would you do?

Homer Bailey is always a fairly hot topic of conversation and perhaps my favorite Reds subject. Unless there's a change of plans, he isn't going to start Sunday's game. Bobby Livingston is.

I think the Reds are missing a big opportunity here. Why bring up Bailey?

Jerry Narron said the club wants the guy who's pitching the best. That might be Phil Dumatrait, but it certainly isn't Bobby Livingston. (Dumatrait started Thursday so it isn't going to be him) Livingston's 0-3 with 3.22 ERA. Bailey's 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA. But the big difference in the hits per inning. Bailey's given up 20 in 34 1/3 innings. Livingston's given up 51 hits in 44 2/3 innings. The only argument for Livingston, statistically, is walks. He's walked only four. Bailey's walked 15.

I simply don't buy the age thing. Ken Griffey Jr. had played in the 282 big league games before he turned 21.

To me this the perfect scenario. The start's on the road, thus less pressure, if Bailey struggles you simply send him back to Louisville when Eric Milton comes off the DL.

But the biggest reason to do it Bailey could give a boost to a team that definitely needs one -- not to mention give fans a reason to watch.

So what would you do? Livingston or Bailey? Or go with bullpen day and start Kirk Saarloos or Victor Santos?


at 1:19 PM Blogger Scott In Louisville, KY said...

Krivsky and Castellini want to capitalize on this kid more than anything. Sure you will get viewers if you bring him up while you are on a road trip but you aren't gonna make money off of it.

You wait to bring him up during a homestand and make the announcement a few days before so that more people have a chance to purchase tickets and creating higher revenue for the ballclub.

I personally don't think you bring him up yet.

at 1:25 PM Anonymous acredsfan said...

Definitely bring up Bailey. The longer they wait, the less time he gets to learn and build on major league experience. Bring him up now and if he does faulter, that will give him something to work with when he gets sent back down. Wait until we are out or you want to keep him up for the rest of the season, he will have to go into the offseason waiting for next year to get the chance to prove himself again. Let him take his lumps early...

at 1:29 PM Blogger Brad said...

I agree with Scott. If Sunday's game was at home, it would be Bailey. The Reds are going to have his debut, whenever it is, at home. That way they get a sellout and make that $$$.

at 1:33 PM Blogger cow town said...

I go with a bullpen day, assuming the 'pen doesn't get taxed too mightily the next two games. Hope you can get 7 innings out of Saarloos and Santos. With an offday Thursday, the Reds won't need a 5th starter again until Tuesday, May 22. That would fall on Homer's normal day, assuming he starts Saturday and the following Thursday (17th). Give him the 'pressure' that the Reds start on the 22nd is his, depending on how he handles the next two in AAA. Then see how he handles it.

at 1:34 PM Blogger mexicanred said...

Bring Homer to pitch vs the dodgers. Not a good hitting team and a pitcher´s park. The red´s bats are hot so let´s try now.
And I agree on the "less pressure on the road" thing.

at 1:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it has to do with Service time. If it was after June 1st, Bailey would be starting on Sunday.

at 1:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave Bailey down in the minors. This team has already shown it is not going anywhere. Don't bring him up and either injure his arm or injure his confidence after the bullpen blows game after game. I would wait until August or September after everybody acknowledges the Reds are out of it and he is well seasoned at Triple A.

at 1:57 PM Blogger Barry said...

He can overpower AAA hitters, but he sure got shelled against the Indians in Spring Training. I don't think he's ready yet. It tight spots hitters know he'll come over the plate with his fastball.

at 2:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cow Town,
Have you watched the bullpen pitch lately? I think on a bullpen day there could be records set for the most runs given up in a single 9 inning game.

at 2:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if Homer pitches great? I think he deserves a chance since he has nothing more to prove in triple A.

at 2:44 PM Blogger Jaybee said...

I have read somewhere or heard somewhere that if Bailey is brought up before the All-Star break he becomes a "Super-Two." Can you explain what this is? This is the rationale I heard (I think it was Hal McCoy) as to why it won't be Bailey on Sunday. Thanks.

at 2:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of hearing that the season is over and we are already playing for next year. This isn't a football team. They play 162 freaking games people. The Brewers are a good team, but the are NOT going to win the Central. That means that we are within a couple games of one of the teams that might, or we might. Give me a break. The 1975 Reds were 21-21 and finished 108-54. I know we don't have that kind of team, but my point is THE SEASON IS NOT WON OR LOST IN APRIL AND MAY. Every major league team is guaranteed 50 wins and 50 losses. It's what you do in the other 62 games that matters, and we have not played many of those 62 yet. Bailey will be up to pitch at home mid summer. The Reds will play well on this road trip. Write it down.

at 3:07 PM Blogger Brad said...

Super Two refers to arbitration. A Super Two gets arbitration a year earlier than other players.

at 4:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rather them let Bailey get at least 4 or 5 more starts. It's still very early in the season and, other than Milton, starting pitching has not been a problem. Actually, Milton hasn't been terrible. He just struggles tremendously in the first inning. The Reds must find an answer for the bullpen. If the bullpen held up its responsibility, the Reds would at least be .500.

at 4:28 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

The season isn't over by a long shot, but the Brewers are going to win the division. Not because they're leading now, but because they're the best team. Houston, when they're not playing the Reds, is terrible. St. Louis isn't going have quality pitching fall out of the sky. Only the Cubs have the talent to catch the Brewers. Maybe, if the Reds swapped bullpens with the Padres or Braves and everything else stayed good...

at 4:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd leave Homer at AAA until the September roster expansions. The kid doesn't yet have command of his breaking and off speed pitches and major league hitters will hit that 96-98 mph fastball into the next century. Let him have a year to mature.

at 6:29 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Kevin, age matters more for pitchers than hitters. Look at pitchers who pitched before they turned 21. Few had any success. Didn't you guys do a story on that last year?

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